Machelle Hackney Hobson
Personal information
BornMachelle Hobson
ca. 1969-1971
DiedNovember 12, 2019 (aged 48–50)
OriginMaricopa, Arizona, U.S.
OccupationYouTube personality, comedian, director
YouTube information
Years active2012–2019
SubscribersChannel terminated (800,726 at peak)[1]
Total views250,405,180[1]
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2018

Last 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.[2][3][4] Fantastic Adventures gained worldwide media attention because of Hobson's motive of abuse towards the adopted children.[5][6][7]


On June 17, 2012,[8] Machelle Hackney Hobson created a YouTube channel, Fantastic Adventures, which would feature videos starring her seven adopted children.[9] The channel ultimately attracted more than 800 thousand subscribers,[8] more than 350 million views,[9] and netted at least tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.[10]

In 2017, a child that was involved in Hobson's videos was seen streaking through the neighborhood, raising suspicions among the neighbors.[11] According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, she was investigated 9 times, but no proof of abuse was found.[12]

In March 2019, after receiving a tip from Hobson's biological adult daughter, Megan Hobson,[13] police visited the Hobson home for a welfare check.[10] The police found that the children appeared to be malnourished, and several of the children reported that Hobson had subjected them to abuse: one daughter said that Hobson had once pepper sprayed her vagina, and a son reported that Hobson had subjected him to beatings and pinched the tip of his penis with her nails until it bled.[10] The children reported that Hobson would frequently abuse them if they refused to perform in a Fantastic Adventures video or if their performance did not meet Hobson's standards.[9][10]

Hobson was detained along with her biological sons, Logan and Ryan, who were arrested in relation to their failure to report their mother's abuse but were ultimately not charged.[14]


In May 2019, Hobson suffered a non-trauma-related brain injury at Pinal County Jail, and she was transferred to a local hospital.[15] Her health subsequently deteriorated, and a judge declared her "incompetent to stand trial but restorable"[15]—a designation that gave state officials 15 months to restore Hobson to legal competency.[16][17] Instead, Hobson died in a Scottsdale hospital on November 12, 2019, and the charges against her were dismissed as a result of her passing.[18][19] 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.[citation needed]


See also


  1. ^ a b "About Fantastic Adventures". YouTube.
  2. ^ a b "A YouTuber Who Earned Thousands from Videos of Her Kids Performing Was Charged with Child Abuse". BuzzFeed News.
  3. ^ Nadeau, Barbie Latza (20 March 2019). "Cops: YouTube Mom Pepper-Sprayed 'Fantastic Adventure' Kid Stars to Force Them to Perform". The Daily Beast – via
  4. ^ Colburn, Randall (20 March 2019). "YouTube's popular Fantastic Adventures channel terminated after reports of child abuse". News.
  5. ^ "Enfants battus : La mère interpellée, YouTube ferme leur chaîne "Fantastic Adventures"". CNews (in French).
  6. ^ Sarah Duhieu (2019-03-21). "États-Unis : elle maltraitait ses enfants pour gagner des vues sur Youtube" (in French). Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  7. ^ "US mum 'starved YouTube channel kids'". BBC News. 2019-03-20.
  8. ^ a b "machellehobson YouTube Stats, Channel Statistics -". Archived from the original on 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  9. ^ a b c Eric Levenson and Mel Alonso (March 27, 2019). "A mom on a popular YouTube show is accused of pepper-spraying her kids when they flubbed their lines" (HTML). CNN.
  10. ^ a b c d Amber Jamieson (March 21, 2019). "A YouTuber Who Earned Thousands From Videos Of Her Kids Performing Was Charged With Child Abuse" (HTML). Buzzfeed News.
  11. ^ "Child of YouTube creator accused of abuse, torture seen running naked through the neighborhood: Police". 2019-03-21.
  12. ^ "I-TEAM: DCS investigated 'YouTube Mom' 9 times before her arrest, found no proof of abuse". 17 December 2020.
  13. ^ Jennings Brown (20 March 2019). "Police Report: Popular YouTuber Children Were Starved, Beaten, Pepper-Sprayed by Mother". Gizmodo.
  14. ^ Burkitt, Bree. "Adult sons of Pinal County YouTube mom won't be charged in abuse case". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved Apr 21, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Perry Vandell (November 13, 2019). "YouTube mom accused of child abuse died of natural causes, Pinal County Attorney says". AZ Central.
  16. ^ "Judge: Florence YouTube mom accused of abusing kids incompetent for trial". Associated Press. August 28, 2019.
  17. ^ Brian Wright (August 28, 2019). "'YouTube Mom' Hobson declared incompetent but 'restorable'". Pinal Central.
  18. ^ Zach Crenshaw (May 15, 2021). "'A failure of the system': Kids told DCS and police about prior 'YouTube Mom' abuse". ABC 15.
  19. ^ "Machelle Hobson Dies at Hospital in Scottsdale". ABC15. 2019-11-13.
  20. ^ "Signs missed? Mom with kids on YouTube accused of abuse". 2019-03-21.
  21. ^ "'It's the wild, Wild West': Unlike professional actors, YouTube child stars have fewer protections". NBC News.