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YouTube Star Accused Of Sexual Harrassment

Pepper Gets Spicy With Misjudged Prank

Imagine that you are enjoying a warm autumn day when suddenly you feel someone pinching your bottom. A random stranger just groped you in the street, what would your first reaction be? Mine? I would punch them in the face, proceed to go on a rant about sexual harassment and then report them to the police. A lucky few,who this happened to, turned round to discover a famous YouTuber filming his latest 'prank' video.

Sam Pepper, a former Big Brother contestant, released a video where he essentially sexually harasses a bunch of women and calls it a prank. While pretending to have his hands in his pocket, his real hand hidden, he goes up to women asks directions and pinches their bottom discreetly. Having been unable to watch this video, as it has already been taken off his channel, I do not know how these women reacted. But even if their reaction was fairly positive, the negative ones probably not included in the video, sexual harassing women in the name of comedy is not funny. 

A lot of people agreed, and the backlash, rightly so, was severe. People took to twitter to voice their anger, #ReportSamPepper was trending. Even famous YouTubers voiced their opinions on the video. Hank Green, YouTube god and brother to The Fault In Our Stars writer John Green, outright banned Sam Pepper from attending Vidcon (the largest YouTuber convention). Josh Sundquist, former paralympian, spoke up in a reaction video about his girlfriend experiencing the same situation that profoundly traumatized her. Laci Green, host of SEX+, posted an open letter to Sam Pepper on her tumblr, signed by many other prominent YouTubers.

While the internet and the YouTubers' reaction were on point, YouTube's policy on sexual harassment is still very unclear. Many people, united through Twitter and YouTube, reported the video and it was taken down for violating YouTube's terms and conditions. However, YouTube's reaction was slow and it is shocking that Sam Pepper's video was up for so long. Some of his other videos are also very questionable, such as 'How To Pick Up Girls With A Lasso' where he ties random girls up in the street, forcing them to interact with him. Even worse 'How To Make Out With With Strangers' where he forces his tongue down girl's throats. This sort of content should not be available on YouTube and his channel should be removed immediately.This should be a lesson for YouTube and it should revise how it deals with videos promoting sexual harassment by making its reaction more snappy and its punishments more severe. 

Sam Pepper should not be allowed to post any more videos until he has at least apologized and acknowledged that he understands that he was sexually harassing these women, Sexual harassment in the name of comedy is still sexual harassment.

Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

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YouTube Star Accused Of Sexual Harrassment Reviewed by Anonymous on Friday, September 26, 2014 Rating: 5
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