There is something strange about Epic Meal Time video “The Edible Sombrero.” While the title alone should be the biggest indicator for bizarre content, this particular video is troubling for an entirely different reason. In it, Epic Meal Time co-creator Harley Morenstein talks directly into the camera while creating yet another edible monstrosity, this time on top of a sombrero. But what’s strange is that Morenstein, for the majority of the video, is alone.
If you’ve been watching Epic Meal Time for long enough then you’ve noticed that the 5 – 7 man crew has dwindled within the past year. As early as January 8, 2013, the sullen, surly character “Muscles Glasses” — played by Alex Perrault — was no longer appearing in Epic Meal Time videos.
Several months later in the upload “Meat Cake,” Epic Meal Time regular Tyler Lemco can be seen briefly, but from that point on Lemco is as absent as Perrault, leaving the crew strangely fractured.
The sudden disappearance of Lemco and Perrault was followed by a rush of theories and rumors across YouTube and Twitter, but the actual reason for the crew members’ departure was largely unknown.
According to Perrault who spoke with NMR recently about his split from the show, both former cast members quit due to conflicts with Morenstein and his brother who is also a co-founder.
“Essentially, I felt like I wasn’t being treated fairly considering the value I brought to the show,” Perrault explained. “Other than Harley, no other member of the crew had any ownership of the company.”
The Epic Meal Time YouTube channel currently has over 5 million subscribers and is one of the most rapidly growing brands online. With a booming merchandise business including a line of cookware and a cookbook, Morenstein seems to have leveraged this simple idea into a full-fledged corporation. Yet, Perrault hinted at multiple “broken promises” issued by the channel’s founders.
“There were many promises made over the years that were not kept. It got to the point where I couldn’t trust Harley as a friend and Harley and his brother as business associates.” said Perrault.
Although Lemco and Perrault have left the show, regulars David Heuff, Josh Elkin and Ameer Atari still appeared frequently on the channel even creating a spin-off cooking show “Handle It,” which is often sans Morenstein.
For Lemco and Perrault, their departures came at a time when the f*ck-all attitude of Epic Meal Time was coming to end. As it often happens when basement-made projects become overnight successes, priorities shift and the spirit of that initial creation often fades. With great success, trouble often follows; it’s something both ex-members struggled with leaving them ultimately alienated. We reached out to Lemco who declined to comment except to agree with Perrault. When asked why he left, Lemco simply stated that, “Business just got in the way of it being fun.”
We reached out to Morenstein’s management for comment and will update if we receive any response.
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