The internet has been buzzing about The Try Guys, a group of ex-Buzzfeed employees who create video content, put out books, and even go on tour. A cheating scandal led to an SNL skit about the situation, which is getting slammed online. So, who exactly are the Try Guys and why are people angry about this sketch?
Who Are The Try Guys?
Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld, and Eugene Lee Yang are the four founding members of the Try Guys. The foursome rose to internet fame while working at Buzzfeed. Their content focused around “trying” different things, from run-of-the-mill hobbies to things like waxing their legs or auditioning for Broadway musicals.
The group parted ways with Buzzfeed in 2018—opting to launch an independent production company called 2nd Try LLC—and have continued to run a successful brand ever since. Earlier this month, a Reddit post revealed group member Ned Fulmer was cheating on his wife, Ariel, with an employee of 2nd Try LLC, Alexandria Herring, who was herself engaged to be married.
This led the Try Guys to announce that Fulmer was no longer a part of the company, and Fulmer was quick to release a statement of his own. In it, he apologized to his former co-workers, his wife and family, and his fans, saying he “lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship.”
What makes this more newsworthy is the fact that Fulmer created a brand out of being a “wife guy,” a term used to describe men who create social media followings centered around their identities as loving husbands.
Fulmer and Ariel appeared in Try Guys videos together and even authored a date night cookbook. The focus put on their “perfect” marriage is what caused the internet to blow up when news of Fulmer’s infidelity came out.
As soon as the scandal hit the internet, the remaining Try Guys released a video titled “what happened.” The trio addressed the controversy while still aiming to keep things vague for legal purposes as well as to maintain respect for Fulmer’s wife and children.
In the video, Habersberger, Kornfeld, and Yang were visibly distressed, and Kornfeld’s voice even broke as he discussed the situation. Not only had these men built a brand with Fulmer over the past decade, but they had become close personal friends with him as well as his wife and family. It’s understandable that they felt betrayed and traumatized by his deception.
‘SNL’ Gets Slammed For ‘Tasteless’ Skit
The video, like all news about the Try Guys, went viral, which led Saturday Night Live to spoof it in a sketch. The sketch poked fun at the emotions portrayed by Fulmer’s ex-coworkers in their video, as well as the fact that most people have no idea who the Try Guys are, much less their wives.
However, the skit did not have people laughing. Most complaints pointed out that the SNL sketch missed the point of the issue: Fulmer had an inappropriate relationship with someone below him in the company.
“that try guys skit was so tasteless,” one person tweeted. “saying they were overreacting for firing ned when it is so rare for men to face the consequences of their actions in the entertainment industry.”
Another wrote, “is it just me or is it kinda screwed up that they are making fun of a POWER DYNAMIC of a sexual relationship between a company’s founder and one of its employees??” Others were angry that the SNL skit merely made fun of Yang, Kornfeld, and Habersberger’s reactions and largely did not mention Fulmer at all.
“I should not care this much but snl doing a try guys bit where they make fun of NOT Ned but the other three for holding him accountable for all his shit and being hurt by it is so nasty,” someone tweeted. “like pls tell me more abt how funny you think a man cheating on his wife with his employee is.”
Did Fulmer’s Friend Write The Skit?
Some people have theorized that the reason Fulmer wasn’t made fun of or talked about harshly in the skit is due to a friend on the inside. Fulmer has previously mentioned that one of his college friends is now a writer on SNL, which led many to believe that’s why the skit leaves him out of the jokes.
“Imagine being Ned Fulmer’s SNL writer Yale buddy who put out this steaming pile of garbage last night,” someone tweeted. “And then making fun of the folks he hurt and the company he tried to tank. This isn’t the cute edgy take they think it is.”
Fans quickly dug up the writers of the Try Guys SNL skit, which was written by Will Stephen—Fulmer’s college friend. The outrage over the skit doesn’t end there; the sketch has also led to conversations about SNL’s own troubling history concerning sexual assault.
Concerns About ‘SNL’ Sexual Assault Lawsuit: ‘The Rot Is Deep There’
“So SNL signed off on writer Will Stephen (Ned’s friend from Yale) to write a bad taste #tryguys smear piece, downplaying and mocking workplace sexual misconduct, while they themselves are embroiled in a grooming and sexual assault lawsuit? YEP, the rot is deep here,” one person wrote.
Another tweeted, “it makes sense that SNL would shrug off the whole try guys thing, if the minimum crime for firing an employee was workplace infidelity, they’d probably have fired half of the male cast in the past nearly-50 years.”
SNL is currently dealing with a lawsuit brought by a woman who claims she was groomed and sexually assaulted by cast member Horatio Sanz starting when she was just 14 years old. She is also trying to add Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, and Lorne Michaels as defendants, arguing that they enabled Sanz’s behavior.
SNL has weathered their fair share of bad press surrounding their sometimes-controversial sketches. However, their take on the Try Guys scandal has left many viewers outraged at their handling of the sensitive topic of workplace relationships.