Influencer Gabi DeMartino is facing backlash after sharing her take on the “BFF Income Challenge.”
The trend calls for friends to compare how much they spend on groceries, rent and other expenses every week. It usually turns out the same, and friends typically seeing a $50-100 difference between them.
DeMartino paired up with her friend Alex Byrd, who works as a secretary and spends “like $100 a week.” DeMartino, in contrast, said she spends “around $9,000.”
Since she deleted the video, it’s no longer available, but YouTuber Def Noodles saved a copy.
DeMartino faced widespread criticism for the video as many suggested she was “showing off” or trying to make her friend feel bad.
“It’s just unnecessary and tone deaf af when we are in the middle of the biggest housing crisis we seen in years,” one Twitter user said.
“I think this is such an awful thing to do when people have lost their jobs due to covid and have been given nothing but CRUMBS from our government,” another wrote. “It’s a complete lack of empathy.”
DeMartino issued an apology for the video before temporarily deactivating her account. It has been reactivated as of Sept. 22.
“Hey guys I’d like to say sorry for my income challenge video. It was extremely insensitive,” she wrote.
She went on to explain that she hoped to demonstrate how income doesn’t matter in strong female friendships and she wanted to show off how her friend had been teaching her how to budget.
“I’m sorry I hurt you guys … Alex I’m sorry to you as well even though you said you weren’t bothered,” she continued. “You live and you learn. I’m very very sorry!”
She then shared “justification” for her $9,000 weekly spending in a follow-up video.
“The $9,000 I spend each week isn’t on shopping. I have multiple businesses, and I’m part of a YouTube channel. We have a film house we have to pay rent for, we have producers, editors… I employ almost all my friends,” she said.
“I’m helping my best friend buy her first house. I paid multiple rents for fans during the pandemic… and I have a fundraiser going on right now.”
Comments on all of her follow-up videos have been disabled, so it’s hard to tell how people are responding to her apology, but it seems as though the backlash at least taught her a lesson.
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