On September 27th, 2022, many fans of the hit entertainers “The Try Guys” woke up to something that they thought would be unimaginable, Ned Fulmer had left the group. The Try Guys were founded in 2014 under the company BuzzFeed, the guys Keith Habersberger, Zach Kornfeld, Eugene Lee Yang, and Ned Fulmer. The Try Guys separated from Buzzfeed in July 2018. All four founders held equal power over their media house, Second Try LLC, and took a handful of Buzzfeed employees with them after the split.
Back to the events of September. Fulmer, who has been married since 2012, was seen in August with a co-worker in a club in New York, “Ned and an employee were engaged in public romantic behavior” as stated by Habersberger in their video “What Happened”. The overall video is a prime example of a well-crafted crisis statement. Habersberger, Yang, and Kornfeld removed Fulmer pending an internal investigation regarding the affair. Fulmer was also removed from upcoming videos, and merchandise releases, digitally removed from other videos where he may not have been featured, and not releasing certain videos. The news of the affair also jeopardized their upcoming Food Network program “Without a Recipe Roadtrip”. Overall the estimated revenue losses from this were around 2 million dollars. After an internal review, Fulmer was removed as a founder and employee of the company.
Moving forward in the video, Yang explains how the company was planning on making a statement publicly, and the full statement was not yet released pending the investigation; but because of the recent speculation and acceleration of posts on Twitter, TikTok, and Reddit action had to be taken and the now infamous “what happened” video was released. Overall the release of the video ended speculation online as to Ned’s recent departure from newer videos, and the rumors of him having an affair. The statement though was in the best interest of Fulmers family, Ariel Fulmer and their two sons Wesley and Finley, are living through the fallout to minimize the pain caused by the constant speculation.
Though this news was shocking, it was an incredibly well crafted crisis response. Watching the video and other social media statements made by Second Try LLC goes to show how much the owners care for their company, and care for maintaining their morals and ethics within the company. Watching this as a PR student, and someone who is now working in a small PR firm this statement was incredibly well crafted considering the events that transpired. The team beginning an investigation before a full crisis could occur, and then releasing statements across their social media pages. I’m interested to see what the rest of their crisis plan is, and how the rest of the year will go for them in terms of editing out Fulmer, and how the dynamics within the group will change as a whole.