Fantastic Adventures scandal
|Machelle Hackney Hobson|
1969, 1970 or 1971
|Died||November 12, 2019 (aged 48–50)|
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
|Origin||Maricopa, Arizona, U.S.|
|Occupation||YouTube personality, comedian, director|
|Subscribers||Channel terminated (800,726 at peak)|
Updated: March 20, 2019
The Fantastic Adventures scandal was a 2019 scandal in involving the YouTube channel Fantastic Adventures, run by Machelle Hackney Hobson of Maricopa, Arizona, United States. The scandal began when one of Hobson's biological children contacted the police after witnessing her adopted siblings (Felipe, Summer, Elijah, Hailey, Jacob, Grayson and one unidentified child) being systematically abused by her mother. Fantastic Adventures gained worldwide media attention because of Hobson's motive of abuse towards the adopted children.
Machelle Hackney Hobson's YouTube channel, Fantastic Adventures, was created on June 17, 2012, and ultimately gained 800,726 subscribers. In 2011, Hobson's former husband had stated that she pulled their daughter Megan from school in order to take care of her adopted children. In 2017, a child that was involved in Hobson's videos was seen streaking through the neighborhood, raising suspicions among the neighbors. According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, she was investigated 9 times.
On March 13, 2019, Megan reported her mother to police. The report came after many of Hobson's neighbors had reported suspicious activity regarding Fantastic Adventures and called the Department of Child Safety (DCS) more than fifteen times to her house. Her biological siblings, Logan and Ryan, were also arrested but later, not charged as they are not involved in the abuse and their biological father had withdrawn money from his wife's bank account in retaliation for the abuse of the adoptive children. One of the brothers even admitted that they told police about the abuse. According to Hobson's Instagram account, one of her adopted daughters, Hailey, was legally blind.
Hobson died in a Scottsdale hospital on November 12, 2019, having been released from jail in June and declared not competent to stand trial in August. All seven children were removed from the home and placed into foster care after Hobson's death, and Fantastic Adventures's earnings were sent to the children who had appeared on the channel. The whereabouts of the seven adoptive children, Mr. Hobson and the biological children (Megan, Logan and Ryan) remains unknown.
- Torrie Taj, CEO of Child Crisis Arizona, called the mother behind the scandal a "master manipulator" and stated that Hobson did not have the qualification to adopt children.
- YouTube announced that it would be working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to find any users who were abusing children and that anyone who was convicted would have their channel terminated.
- DaddyOFive, a similar scandal involving a channel carrying out child abuse on YouTube
- "About Fantastic Adventures". YouTube.
- "A YouTuber Who Earned Thousands from Videos of Her Kids Performing Was Charged with Child Abuse". BuzzFeed News.
- Nadeau, Barbie Latza (20 March 2019). "Cops: YouTube Mom Pepper-Sprayed 'Fantastic Adventure' Kid Stars to Force Them to Perform". The Daily Beast – via www.thedailybeast.com.
- Colburn, Randall. "YouTube's popular Fantastic Adventures channel terminated after reports of child abuse". News.
- "Enfants battus : La mère interpellée, YouTube ferme leur chaîne "Fantastic Adventures"".
- Sarah Duhieu (2019-03-21). "États-Unis : elle maltraitait ses enfants pour gagner des vues sur Youtube" (in French). Rtl.fr. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
- "US mum 'starved YouTube channel kids'". BBC News. 2019-03-20.
- "machellehobson YouTube Stats, Channel Statistics - Socialblade.com". Archived from the original on 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
- "Child of YouTube creator accused of abuse, torture seen running naked through the neighborhood: Police". 2019-03-21.
- "I-TEAM: DCS investigated 'YouTube Mom' 9 times before her arrest, found no proof of abuse". 17 December 2020.
- "Police Report: Popular YouTuber Children Were Starved, Beaten, Pepper-Sprayed by Mother".
- Burkitt, Bree. "Adult sons of Pinal County YouTube mom won't be charged in abuse case". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved Apr 21, 2021.
- "Maricopa police arrest woman for abusing 7 adopted children". YouTube. 2019-03-19. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
- "Fantastic on Instagram: "This weeks highlight is Hailey: Hailey has come a very long way in her life and we are so very proud of her! Hailey was adopted from foster…"". Instagram.com. Archived from the original on 2021-12-26. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
- "Machelle Hobson Dies at Hospital in Scottsdale". ABC15. 2019-11-13.
- "YouTube star accused of abusing her 7 adoptive children dies in hospital". ABC News.
- "Signs missed? Mom with kids on YouTube accused of abuse". 2019-03-21.
- "'It's the wild, Wild West': Unlike professional actors, YouTube child stars have fewer protections". NBC News.