Gabi DeMartino deletes TikTok after backlash over ‘Income Challenge’

YouTube: Gabi DeMartino

Gabi DeMartino has come under fire for a “tone deaf” take on the ‘BFF Income Challenge’ sweeping TikTok, which caused the YouTube star to disable the video in question, and apologize for her “extremely insensitive” upload.

TikTok’s latest trend is sharing how much you spend on groceries, rent, and other expenses alongside your best friend to compare. It’s usually all fun and games, as the two parties see a $50-100 difference in their overall weekly spending.

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DeMartino has come under fire for her version of the viral TikTok trend, however, after the popular YouTuber paired up with her friend Alex Byrd on Sep. 20.

The gap was soon revealed: Byrd, who said she works as a secretary, said she spends “like $100 a week.” In comparison, DeMartino spends “around $9,000.”

The YouTuber was widely criticized for her video. Many suggested she was “simply showing off,” or trying to make her friend feel bad. Other fans claimed she was “tone deaf” and should have avoided doing the viral challenge in the first place.

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Gabi DeMartino, who boasts 1.3 million followers on the platform, temporarily disabled her profile after the backlash. She soon brought it back online, but had removed the ‘Income Challenge’ video from her timeline completely.

Gabi DeMartino has come under fire for doing the 'BFF Income Challenge' with her friend Alex Byrd on TikTok.Instagram: Alex Byrd
Gabi DeMartino has come under fire for doing the ‘BFF Income Challenge’ with her friend Alex Byrd on TikTok.

“Hey guys, I’d like to say I’m sorry for my Income Challenge video I made with my friend Alex. It was extremely insensitive,” Gabi wrote on TikTok soon after.

“For those who didn’t see it, I was shopping with my best friend and she’s been teaching me how to budget. I thought it would be interesting to display how income doesn’t matter when it comes to friends. A healthy female relationship-type video.

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“We made the TikTok on the spot during our shopping spree so we didn’t put much thought into it, and I wish I had. The way it was delivered was horrible.

“I’m sorry I hurt you guys, and Alex, I’m sorry to you as well even though you said you weren’t bothered. You live and you learn. I’m very, very sorry!”

The YouTube glamor star also released another TikTok soon after, providing “justification” for her $9,000 weekly spending sum revealed in the original clip.

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“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 in her follow-up.

“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.”

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It’s also worth noting DeMartino’s original claim ⁠— that Alex was “fine” with the video ⁠— did seem true. In the opening seconds of the ‘challenge’ clip, Alex adds a disclaimer that she’s “not bothered in any way.” She added it’s “really funny.”

Byrd appears in DeMartino’s original series ‘Blood Queens,’ which streams on YouTube. She appeared as a featured extra in the show’s second season, before being promoted to a series regular in ‘Blood Queens Coven’ last year.

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