Hey all. I’ve been tweeting updates but I thought putting it all here might be easier. Although you may have noticed some quieting, this problem has not been solved and we’re still working on it. Here’s what I’m personally working on:
❒ Working with the survivors. Another charge of rape has come forward and she may be filing a report/pressing charges. There is some physical evidence. We are evaluating whether or not it’s worth the process for her. Others just want to close the book and move on with their life, but still want to help prevent it in the future. We’re figuring it out. I do hope there are some kind of legal consequences in all of this, but it’s not so simple.
❒ Working with the press. I am in talks with The Guardian, BBC, Channel 4, and The New York Times. It’s unclear what each outlet will be tackling specifically or if the stories will actually be published, but mostly it involves shedding more light on “big picture” stuff and how this problem goes beyond Sam Pepper and even YouTube.
❒ Working on another video - tentatively. I don’t want to create more demands on myself because I’m still on tour and I’m already so stressed that I’m getting sick. I am thinking about a more formal episode of Sex+ that will act as a guide to these situations for community members, creators, and victims.
❒ Working with YouTube itself. We must get a policy implemented and acted upon to boot creators who do this. It is absolutely unacceptable that they can build a career on content that depicts illegal and violating acts. Getting this moving is very tricky because YouTube is notoriously hard to get a hold of and they have been very quiet about all this. Another big YouTuber, who I won’t name for now, has had some luck mobilizing this with higher ups at Google and I am pursuing all my leads as well.
thanks for all your support everyone, really truly could not do this without an army behind me. it’s been exhausting, but i believe down to my bones that we can and will make a change here.
She talks about the trend where comedy is used to justify harmful things. Delving deeper, she talks about how the usage (and acceptance) of black face and racial stereotypes contributes to anti-blackness and even murder, in the case of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and countless others. Make sure you give it a watch and share.
What is particularly disturbing here is the number of people sticking up for him as well as the fact that he made the video “unlisted” so it cannot be found by unknowing viewers. Please make this information known to your friends who may be at conferences, festivals, etc.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. As fellow YouTubers, we have much respect for others who put so much hard work into building their channel. It’s not easy, and you should be proud! That said, we’ve noticed that in your success, there has been a lack of respect in return…namely, for women and girls.
You may have noticed that your latest video “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” has garnered considerable negative attention. In this video, you sexually violate a number of unsuspecting women on the street, many of whom are visibly confused and upset at being touched by you without permission. One woman even says “I don’t like that!” while you proceed to laugh and touch her more. In “How to Make Out with Strangers”, made a year ago, you pressure women on camera to make out with you - again, many of whom are visibly uncool with it. Confused and caught off guard, they painfully follow through with your requests, clearly uncomfortable. In “How to Pick Up Girls with a Lasso”, you physically restrain women on the street with lassos - many of whom look alarmed to be restrained by a stranger.
You’d probably be alarmed too, wouldn’t you? Imagine someone on the street comes up and rubs their hand on your bottom, or a girl walks up to you with a camera and forces her mouth onto yours while you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Imagine walking down the alley alone, when a guy much larger than you physically restrains you with rope and pulls you toward him. You probably wouldn’t like it, right?
People don’t like to be violated and they don’t like to see their friends and girlfriends be violated either (hence the group of men that tried to beat you up in the lasso video). And yet, history suggests that perhaps you find this humorous. It is very disturbing that we live in a world where the violation of women and girls’ bodies is not only funny, but profitable, and can garner considerable notoriety and views on YouTube.
We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women. 1 in 6 young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.
We realize that people make mistakes, and that sometimes it’s hard to see the ripple effect of one’s actions. We really hope that you will take a step back and consider the power you have to be someone who makes the world a better place. It’s not too late to make a change! We invite you to join us in ending widespread bodily violation that takes place in so many forms all around in the world.
shoutout to all the girls + women who have thick, dark, and abundant body hair and have to spend time and energy shaving every single day if they don’t want to be harassed by loved ones + strangers alike
shoutout to all the girls + women who decided its not worth their time, even if they only skip sometimes, and endure criticism, harassment, and stigma as the price for their own freedom of time + comfort