• Orange Staff

The Try Guys Controversy Fully Explained

By Saumya Sawant

The Try Guys, an iconic quartet whose popularity stems from their commitment to “trying” things and documenting it on their YouTube channel for millions of their fans to see, recently announced its decision to no longer work with one of the original four founding members, Ned Fulmer, amidst controversy in the workplace. The controversy stems from Fulmer cheating on his wife, Ariel, with a video documenting his infidelity going viral on the internet. The news came as a shock to fans of the group, as Ned’s entire brand image comes from his alleged commitment to being a “family man” who loves his wife and children dearly.

“As a result of a thorough internal review, we do not see a path forward together. We thank you for your support as we navigate this change,” read the post on the Official Try Guys Group Instagram, dated September 27th, 2022. Other Try Guys social media accounts also changed their profile pictures from a group shot of all four members to that of the Try Guys Company Logo.

But how and when did the news come out? And what correlation does it have to Fulmer’s professional life and work with the Try Guys?

The Reddit Post

On September 26th, 2022, screenshots reemerged from Reddit user @hamilton390, who had posted them earlier in the month before deleting them, claiming that Ned Fulmer had done “something bad,” and when asked for proof, provided video evidence of Ned and a coworker, Alexandria Herring, kissing and touching each other at a club. This evidence by itself may not have been enough to incriminate Fulmer, but another user also came forward around this time to state that they’d seen both Herring and Fulmer at a concert earlier in that same month.

Twitter user @camitwomeyy posted a longer thread on the subject with the Reddit post included, as well as additional evidence and speculation that cast doubt on what was going on behind the scenes. “...So this all started when fans began noticing that Ned has not been present in some of the recent Try Guys projects. Ned does not appear in the past three videos or intros. He also was not in the past three podcast episodes,” the thread starts by saying. Accompanying this tweet is a screenshot of the Try Guys YouTube channel, which shows the thumbnails of their recent videos with Ned noticeably absent from all of them. “Typically, the guys have an intro to their vids where all four guys appear but, in recent videos, this has been replaced. Only Eugene, Zach, and Keith appear in the new tracksuit ads at the beginning of the videos. Despite Ned attending the photo shoot.”

The full thread details further evidence of Ned’s absence from the Try Guys recent content and ends by saying that the Reddit user from before (@hamilton390) has already talked to Ned’s wife, Ariel, about the evidence of Ned cheating. @hamilton390 also claims to be Alexandria Herring’s fiancé, Will Thayer, who has made his Instagram account private and unfollowed his now ex-fiancée.

An even more extensive list of evidence was posted by @nedfulmerexpose on September 27th. This list adds that Ariel was “...not in the last two episodes of ‘You Can Sit With Us’ (a podcast run by the Try Guys’ wives)...” and that “...Ned and Alex did not appear in ‘Keith Eats Everything at a Vegas Buffet’” video.

Fallout

Though the Reddit post has now been deleted, the damage has been done. Besides the official statement from the Try Guys, both Ned and Ariel took to social media to address the situation.


“Family should have always been my priority, but I lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship. I’m sorry for any pain that my actions may have caused to the guys and the fans but most of all to Ariel. The only thing that matters right now is my marriage and my children, and that’s where I am going to focus my attention,” wrote Ned, thus dispelling any doubts as to whether or not the affair actually happened. In the post, both the Try Guys and Ariel were tagged.

“Nothing is more important to me and Ned than our family, and all we request right now is that you respect our privacy for the sake of our kids,” Ariel posted on her own socials. The couple has two young children together: Wesley, born in 2018, and Finn, born in 2020.

Alexandria Herring herself, the coworker who was caught with Ned in the now infamous video circulating the internet, has not commented on the situation thus far. She and Ned have both unfollowed each other, however, and comments on her Instagram posts have now been limited.


Will Thayer, meanwhile, was featured in a friend’s Instagram post from September 25th, 2022 (a day before the Reddit post by @hamilton390) drinking champagne at a grill in Hollywood. The caption under the photo read, “Ma bois (sic) back in town. If ya know you know.” Supposedly, it’s meant to be a reference to Thayer’s separation from Herring.

While Thayer and Herring may be done for good, Ned and Ariel were seen together on September 28th, 2022, both still wearing their wedding rings despite Ariel removing the title of “wife” from her bio. While Ariel was not looking at the camera, Ned was smiling when the photo was taken. He has also not removed the title of “...@arielfulmer’s husband” from his own social media bio.

“I’m A Wife Guy”

As despicable as Ned’s cheating may be, many were confused by the Try Guys decision to no longer work with him. After all, what does someone’s personal life have to do with the work they produce for a public platform? As it turns out, everything. At least, that is the case for Ned.

A “wife guy” is defined by Wikipedia to be “...a man whose fame is owed to the content he posts about his wife. The term has been applied more broadly to men who use their wife to upgrade their social standing or public persona.” This definition is perhaps a bit too forgiving and normal to truly encompass what this relatively new phenomenon is. A more accurate definition, stated by an article in the New York Times, is that a wife guy is someone “...(who) is sexually attracted to his wife, and he talks about it as if he were some kind of hero...he married a woman, and now that is his personality.”

Is Ned a wife guy, then? By this definition, technically, yes, he is. Besides his work with the Try Guys, Ned has also used his wife and children for social media posts, such as one from August 12th, 2022, which shows Ned and his wife posing in front of a giant heart with the caption, “Feeling grateful that I get to spend this special time with all my loves.” Another now poorly-aged post shows Ned and Ariel embracing, with a longer caption thanking Ariel for all her support, as well as promotion for a movie documenting the Try Guys journey. Ned and Ariel also run a parenting podcast together.

Of course, with Ned’s cheating now coming to light, this image of Ned being a devoted husband and father is effectively shattered. As it turns out, this is fatal for the brand image; the Try Guys have traditionally always been a wholesome, feel-good type of group. Three of the four group members are married, and their wives regularly make appearances on their channel. Combine that with the complication that is Alexandria Herring and her own close work with the group, and it’s a perfect recipe for resentment and future disaster further down the line.

From a business point of view, it makes perfect sense for the Try Guys to cut Ned out. Of course, there’s the added consideration of the Try Guys having known Ariel for such a long time (close to 10 years), possibly getting to be equally close to her as they have to Ned. With that in mind, from a human decency point of view, it’s likely for the better that Ned is no longer with the group where he first met his future affair partner.

What Now?

With Ned being cut from the group, the quartet has now become a trio. Some users have joked that this makes perfect logical sense, as the word “Try” from the name “Try Guys” could also double as “tri” to mean "three" for the members that are left. Others have also noted that it could be an opening for a position to hire another person to fill in the role that Fulmer has left behind, though Sam Gutelle from TubeFilter says that “...Yang, Habersberger, and Kornfeld are perfectly capable of trying things themselves.”

In any case, the Internet is still shocked, angry, and struggling to process that this has even happened in the first place. Many people have grown up watching the Try Guys content and feel as if they know the group members on a personal level, making it difficult to fathom that one of them could do something like this. It also goes to show that appearances can be deceiving, especially on social media. An image someone portrays to the world through photos and videos is not necessarily the reality that goes on behind the scenes.

“The husband everyone needs,” @naomi_fernandes07 commented on a post from Ned’s Instagram six weeks before the news of the affair was made public. “This comment didn’t age well,” @floramantis89 replied, followed by a crying emoji.

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