YouTuber Who Sexually Harasses Women Dropped By His Network Amidst Further Allegations of Sexual Harassment
And good riddance.
Sam Pepper, the YouTuber who posts videos in which he sexually assaults women, has been under fire this week for, you know, sexually assaulting women on camera. Many women have also stepped forward to discuss their personal experiences with Pepper – and the YouTuber has subsequently been dropped from his network.
If you’re not sure what’s going on, here’s the background. First, Pepper posted a video in which he grabs women in the street without consent – one of many videos on his channel that feature Pepper sexually assaulting women. In the midst of the backlash, Pepper decided to announce that this particular video was actually a “social experiment,” meant to draw attention to the plight of men who are affected by domestic violence. While sexual harassment and domestic violence against any gender are incredibly serious and important issues, there’s no doubt in my mind that Pepper was actually just scrambling to save face.
Now, New Media Rockstars is reporting that Pepper has been dropped by Collective Digital Studio, the multichannel YouTube network that represented him. CDS’s Karlyn Nelson told NMR that she can “can confirm that Collective Digital Studio is no longer working with Sam Pepper.” Which is great; except, you know, CDS only just signed Pepper to their roster on August 4th. That means CDS had no problem signing someone to their label who had sexually harassing videos up like “How To Pick Up Girls With A Lasso” or “Licking Strangers” until the backlash started. But we’re glad CDS has dropped him now, regardless, along with VidCon and YouTubers React.
The drop comes at a time when several brave women have stepped forward with allegations about their experiences with Pepper and sexual harassment. Laci Green, the SEX+ YouTuber who posted the original open letter to Pepper and has spoken extensively on the issue, uploaded this video, which has a great summary and explanation of what she’s been hearing from women about Pepper across the internet.
Green says that several women she’s spoken with are considering pressing charges against Pepper, so she isn’t sharing their stories, but that other women have been more public. Already, two women have posted videos in which they speak about their own experiences with Pepper. The first video is from a woman who prefers to remain anonymous, and comes with a trigger warning for graphic descriptions of sexual assault. The second is from YouTuber thisisdottie, whose experience with Pepper occurred when she was underage.
Additionally, this blog post by Shirley J tells the story of the time she was grabbed by Pepper without permission in public when she was 15. Bryony Harris, also 15 at the time of her involvement with Pepper, tweeted a similar experience to Dottie’s:
sam pepper done the same to me as he done to dottie read these messages i got from him when i was 15 and a fan pic.twitter.com/uGLklr9WP5
— Bryony Anne Harris (@BryonyHarris2) September 23, 2014
BuzzFeed News also spoke with a woman named Abbey McEnroe, who says Pepper grabbed her in public and attempted to coerce into sex. While you’re watching and reading these posts, I would like to remind you all (though I know our readers are wonderful and considerate) to please respect the bravery it takes for survivors of sexual assault to speak out about their experiences; to never victim blame; and to listen and understand to what these women are saying.
In light of this whole horrible week for the YouTube community (and, like, society as a whole), Green suggests some things that you, the viewer, can do to stop sexually abusive videos on YouTube: take sexual abuse seriously, and take videos in which women are sexually abused seriously; stop watching the videos and supporting the content, while not ignoring that these horrible videos exist; reporting any videos that violate YouTube’s terms of service; and speaking up against sexual harassment, any way in which you feel safe and comfortable. This is great advice from a great YouTuber, and hopefully the backlash against Pepper will carry over into all videos with sexually violating content.
- YouTuber Makes Videos Harassing Women, Receives Awesome & Appropriate Backlash from Laci Green and the YouTube Community
- YouTuber Who Sexually Harasses Women Tries To Pass Off Most Recent Video As “Social Experiment” To Raise Awareness For Domestic Violence Against Men