back to top

Sam Pepper Claims His "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank" Video Was A "Social Experiment"

UPDATED: Pepper claims he wanted to do something that could "highlight the difference between abuse towards a man and abuse towards a woman."

Posted on

Sam Pepper has now released two more videos since this furore blew up. This morning the first video was posted to YouTube. It showed a woman groping men, and was swiftly removed from the site.

He followed it with these tweets.

i want to say sorry to anyone that has felt stressed/upset by this campaign i was running. im glad the 3rd video is final out. thanks always

Sam Pepper@sampepper

i want to say sorry to anyone that has felt stressed/upset by this campaign i was running. im glad the 3rd video is final out. thanks always

3:44 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

people tweeting me "sorry" you don't have to be? that was the point, you stood up for something you believed in.

Sam Pepper@sampepper

people tweeting me "sorry" you don't have to be? that was the point, you stood up for something you believed in.

4:42 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In hindsight we would all do things different in our lives, i could have executed this neater, but would have it as reached as many people?

Sam Pepper@sampepper

In hindsight we would all do things different in our lives, i could have executed this neater, but would have it as reached as many people?

5:08 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

He then posted this video, in which he claims the original was a "social experiment".

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

He says the previous videos were "staged and scripted".

He also describes a male friend of his who was in an abusive relationship and how he had been groped at meet-and-greets. He goes on to say: "I don't want to turn off a light on a very real and scary issue women face, I just want to shine a light on an otherwise dark corner - abuse on men." He says he "chose to use sexual harassment as the focal point of the experiment...that way I could watch you guys go crazy in the comments."

He goes on to say: "Men have the highest suicide rate in the world and I think a lot of the time it's because we're told to hide our feelings and get on with it, women are allowed an outlet, they have people on both sides trying to protect them."

At the time of writing his name is trending on Twitter and it seems the reaction to the alleged stunt is largely negative.

So let me get this straight, Sam Pepper made a video sexually harassing people.. To try and teach us that sexual harassment is bad? Oh okay.

Joe Santagato@JoeSantagato

So let me get this straight, Sam Pepper made a video sexually harassing people.. To try and teach us that sexual harassment is bad? Oh okay.

3:50 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

DID YOU KNOW? If you're a horrible person, just claim it was a social experiment, then it's everyone else's problem if they're offended!

Tyler Oakley@tyleroakley

DID YOU KNOW? If you're a horrible person, just claim it was a social experiment, then it's everyone else's problem if they're offended!

5:36 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Sam Pepper obviously thinks everybody is completely brain-dead. This is a new low. @sampepper

Oliver Age 24ish@OliverAge24

Sam Pepper obviously thinks everybody is completely brain-dead. This is a new low. @sampepper

3:43 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

So many people excusing Sam Pepper's actions makes me lose faith in the whole entire world, you people are disgusting.

Bad Intentions@cabelloaddicted

So many people excusing Sam Pepper's actions makes me lose faith in the whole entire world, you people are disgusting.

5:53 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

BuzzFeed has reached out to him for further comment. Original story below.

The video, titled "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank," which BuzzFeed isn't linking out to, sees Pepper using a fake hand as he gropes women in the street.

youtube.com

In the video, Pepper approaches five women in the street and gropes their bottoms while asking directions. He has a fake hand in his pocket which disguises what he's doing. One leaps away in horror. Another says, "I don't like that; I don't like that," when he shows them the hand.

Pepper's idea isn't original. There are "prank" videos on YouTube from around the world dating back to earlier in the year that use this trick.

There has been huge outrage over the video.

The fact that Sam Pepper hasn't even done anything about the video or even deleted it, is further proof that he's a douchebag

CHANEL@chaneltiffany_

The fact that Sam Pepper hasn't even done anything about the video or even deleted it, is further proof that he's a douchebag

6:39 AM - 22 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Louise commented on Sam Pepper's video YOU TELL HIM LOUISE

Lisa@hellosugg

Louise commented on Sam Pepper's video YOU TELL HIM LOUISE

4:56 PM - 21 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The hashtag #ReportSamPepper began to trend.

#reportsampepper | if you think it's funny to sexually harass women you're in the wrong. respect our women, protect our women, not harass.

wolf@therealtyla_

#reportsampepper | if you think it's funny to sexually harass women you're in the wrong. respect our women, protect our women, not harass.

5:00 AM - 22 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

// ashamed to say that i used to like sam pepper

?izz pizza?@SUGGEDYSUGG

// ashamed to say that i used to like sam pepper

8:15 AM - 22 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

YouTuber Laci Green has written Pepper an open letter about the prank.

It's co-signed by a whole host of prominent YouTubers, including Meghan Tonjes, Nathan Z, Tyler Oakley, and Liam Dryden.

She writes:

Hi Sam!
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.

Pepper has yet to respond. BuzzFeed has reached out to him for comment.

Wow I would like to say well done for the way Sam pepper handled everything well done for addressing it Oh wait

zoella beauty@suggssugglets

Wow I would like to say well done for the way Sam pepper handled everything well done for addressing it
Oh wait

7:42 AM - 22 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Updated — Sept. 22, 15:18 BST: Hank Green has said he will not be invited to VidCon in future. It appears that Pepper's video has been taken down from YouTube.

For people asking, it's safe to assume that people who sexually assault women in "prank" videos will not be welcome at future VidCons.

Hank Green@hankgreen

For people asking, it's safe to assume that people who sexually assault women in "prank" videos will not be welcome at future VidCons.

8:46 PM - 21 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

This post originally said Pepper gropes the women with the fake hand. For clarification, the fake hand disguises the fact his real hand is groping them.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.