Editors note: This story contains sensitive content and may be triggering to some readers. Discretion is advised.
Several sponsors of the I Hate Your Deck (IHYD) YouTube channel have revoked their affiliation after actress Benita Robledo released a statement detailing abuse she allegedly suffered working with IHYD creator, Michael David Lynch.
Robledo alleges a pattern of abuse which she says took place during and after the filming of Dependent’s Day in 2013-2014. The film, which released in 2016, was directed by Lynch and included a scene in which Robledo was asked to appear nude. Upon voicing her reservations, Lynch reportedly told Robledo they could film the scene two ways – one with nudity and one without – and ultimately she “…would have full right of refusal on nudity no questions asked” and said she could give her approval on the final cut. However, the final cut kept the nudity without her approval and exposed Robledo, on-screen, to a theater full of people.
Robledo goes on to state that she has a “…history of disordered eating and body dysmorphia”, and seeing her full-frontal nudity in the film was extremely triggering and was what lead to her to ask Lynch to cut it. When faced with changing the scene, Robledo claims Lynch then retaliated by threatening to scrap one of her side projects, stating that “…if he didn’t get his nudity, [she] wouldn’t get [her] footage.”
Additionally, when Robledo had won Best Actress at the 2016 Texas Hill Country Film Festival, she states Lynch refused to give Robledo her award unless she “…agreed to go to the film’s premiere and pose on the red carpet next to him.”, and that it wasn’t until 2018 when one of Robledo’s castmates learned of what took place and reached out to Lynch in order to get him to turn over the award so it could be relayed to Robledo.
With the recent resurfacing of these allegations, Lynch took to Twitter, sharing posts that appeared to be dismissive and aimed to discredit the the actress’ claims, with some even being sent through the I Hate Your Deck Twitter account.
These initial statements would later prove problematic for Lynch, with many in the Magic: The Gathering community rejecting them, and leading him to post an extended apology on March 15.
While Robledo accepted this apology from Lynch at first, upon being made aware of his initial comments, she has since retracted her acceptance, stating “I do not believe Mike is sincere in his apology or perhaps even fully understands the depth of harm he caused.”
Since the release of Robledo’s statement, many members of the Magic: The Gathering community have further condemned Lynch’s actions, and several of I Hate Your Deck’s sponsors, partners, and affiliates, including Card Kingdom, DragonShield, Mythic Gaming (Alter Sleeves), and Mox Field, have announced their intent to break ties with the channel.
You can read the individual statements of each former sponsor/affiliate below.