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YouTube Removes Channel of ‘Fantastic Adventures’ Family After ‘Momager’ Accused of Abusing Kids to Get Them to Perform

A popular YouTube channel following the life of a suburban Phoenix family with seven adopted kids was removed by the platform Wednesday after police said the “momager” operating the channel was abusing the kids behind the scenes to get them to perform. Machelle Hobson, the creator of the “Fantastic Adventures” channel and the adoptive mother of seven children, was arrested after one of her children reportedly contacted police to allege abuse. Two of her biological sons were also arrested for failing to report the alleged abuse, according to Arizona Republic. Hobson was initially identified by police as Machelle Hackney before they corrected her last name. Police say the children were forced to “act” in videos on the “Fantastic Adventures” channel and they were allegedly physically abused if they forgot their lines or declined to participate. One of the children alleged that Hackney would use pepper-spray on their genitals as punishment, while police said forced ice baths, starvation, and being locked up were other methods of abuse the children complained of. YouTube confirmed Wednesday that the channel had been demonetized in light of the abuse claims and said it could be terminated, according to CNN. Hobson is currently being held in lieu of a $200,000 bond.