Internet abomination Sam Pepper’s new video is sexual harassment and a perfect example of rape culture

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Perhaps we give YouTubers too much power. I couldn’t help but think this today as I read about Sam Pepper’s disgusting new video where he sexually harasses women by pinching their butts and plays it off as a joke.

After all, any idiot can pick up a camera and make a video of them doing dumb stuff to get views. Sam Pepper just happens to have two million viewers. Many of whom are young, impressionable girls who believe this type of behavior is completely acceptable. In a culture where we build our own celebrities we are dangerously giving a platform to white, offensive boys whose behavior we excuse because they’re “cute.”

I know a lot of people will say that we shouldn’t talk about Sam Pepper because this will just give him more “attention.” But we should be talking about this. A lot. We should be associating his name with a viral rape culture that has scarily risen with social media. If you’ve been following Sam you will not be surprised by this video. In the past year he’s made quite a few videos of sexual harassment. For whatever reason, none seemed to take off like this one did. In his first video he kissed or made out with unsuspecting women. I, along with many other bloggers and viewers, was extremely disturbed by the video. Sure, the women seemed to not mind. But the fact was Sam never asked the women’s consent to kiss them. At times he even slid in tongue.

Yet isn’t the justification for every type of sexual harassment committed against women, “She wanted it” or “She didn’t seem to mind. She enjoyed it.” Well, sure, when society tells women that they are sexual objects and the most they have to do is shut up and take the abuse men throw at them, then I GUESS they will have to act like they aren’t outrageously offended by a man violating their personal space.

YouTuber Louise, or SprinkleOfGlitter, made an extremely intelligent point on the comments of Sam’s video which someone was able to capture before he deleted it like the hack he is:

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Louise’s points are all solid. Sam did not have any respect for the women he chose to harass. In fact, he could be arrested for this video. A sex offender only has to grope someone without their permission for the victim to file a charge against them. Sam did this to God knows how many women and sadly, none of them decided to press charges. Perhaps because, once again, we live in a society where women are used to this behavior. Every day.

And this is where the real problem with the video lies. Beyond the victims of the actual video, there are the viewers, both male and female, who will be influenced by this. For the girls, this video will further exemplify that their body is for the male gaze and his desires. For the men who watch this, this could further justify their excuse that victimizing women in a sexual manner is a joke if it’s all in good fun. In severe cases, this could inspire a young man to try this on his own and hopefully get the same amount of hits Sam gets on his videos weekly. (Regularly 500,000 to a million. Let that sink in.)

Luckily, we have YouTubers in the community who are speaking out about this. Some are rather big names in the vlogging world while many of Sam’s previous friends have frustratingly stayed silent on the entire matter.tumblr_nc9o5t3hHt1sbgzb1o4_500 tumblr_nc9o5t3hHt1sbgzb1o6_500 tumblr_nc9o5t3hHt1sbgzb1o5_500

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This is absolutely not the time to stay quite to keep up a positive appearance or not stir up your followers. As YouTubers, you have an influence and a large number of young fans. EVERYONE should speak up about this because it is deplorable and awful. There’s no excuse for a video like this to be made and at 26, Sam has had YEARS to learn this.

For as much backlash as there has been, there  is also a disgustingly large amount of defenses. Many YouTube comments request that everyone chill out or calm down because the women don’t seem mad. Once again, this is how rape culture is formed. A woman does not and should not have to explicitly say, “This is not right” for us to come to her defense. There are many terrible things we could do “as a joke” and it still break the law or violate someone’s rights.

YouTube culture is still extremely new. The celebrities we are creating are sometimes just as bad as the ones Hollywood creates every year. The difference is the audience of YouTube controls how successful or unsuccessful one can become. For that reason, we have a say on if Sam sinks or swims in the next year. If you have any amount of self-respect for yourself or women, you should not support this man. He is not going to apologize and if he does, it will only be to save his career. If you are running a festival like DigiTour or Playlist Live, he should be removed from your guest list. Hank Green had no problem stating that Sam will not be welcome at future Vidcon events. tumblr_inline_nc9ody4tXj1rlj2ky

So please, let’s talk about this.  Let’s give Sam the attention he deserves by calling him a sexual offender. Because he is one. And then let’s hit him where it hurts. Unsubscribe from his channel, don’t invite him to any more events and request that sponsors stop working with him. We have the power to change his influence. So let’s ruin him.

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5 thoughts on “Internet abomination Sam Pepper’s new video is sexual harassment and a perfect example of rape culture

      1. it was brought up at the pranking panel at vidcon and they were just like, “ugh, assholes.” but that was the end of it among youtubers. A lot of black blogs wrote about it and the guys were on the hot 97 morning show. I went to their channel, but the videos are gone. I guess they got enough backlash for them to take them down. It’s just the youtube community could have said something about it as well. They’re OckTV if you want to take a look for your self.

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      2. I will definitely look this up! Thanks for the heads up. I think the YouTube community is very passive aggressive and also very selective of the battles they choose to fight. Unfortunately race does not seem to be an issue for many of them since many of the most popular ones are white, rich, attractive males. And they regularly poke fun at racial stereotypes which is just another problem in itself.
        If you find anything else worth looking into totally email me or comment on a post. It’s kinda maddening that nothing else was said especially as this happened at Vidcon

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