Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sam Pepper // Are pranks going too far?

First and foremost, yes, I watched the video and I am aware that at the end of it everyone appears to be fine despite everything that happened, but I wanted to share my thoughts on why this sort of "prank" is dangerous, and why you shouldn't do this to someone.
I am going to include the video here so you can watch it if you want, but please be aware it could be triggering to some people.

It just boggles my mind that two people would sit down and come up with a plan to "prank" their friend by KIDNAPPING them, and then making them think their best friend was MURDERED in front of them.
This kind of thing could really fuck someone up. It could cause PTSD, possibly a heart attack, maybe a complete mental/emotional break down. It could really traumatize someone. Plus, kidnapping is NOT a joke, and should not be made light of. The fact that they would choose to keep it going despite how it was clearly effecting the guy is awful. It just really bothers me that they were laughing and he's sobbing and thought he lost his best friend. Like, he even said that Colby was everything he has. You just don't do that to someone.

Now, Sam Pepper seems to have a history of being an asshole, what with his having apparently RAPED people and made a video in which he crosses a line and invades people's personal space and touches their ass like an absolute creep. They weren't even people he knew, just total strangers who were being friendly to him. He even called it a "social experiment" and had the audacity to use it to promote consent.
Last year, a young woman uploaded a video to youtube, she has kept her identity hidden, and revealed that Sam Pepper sexually assaulted her:

"Last week, Pepper, a 25-year-old former U.K. Big Brother contestant, set off an internet firestorm with a prank video that featured him groping and pinching women on the street. Pepper said the video was a “social experiment” to raise awareness of male victims of sexual assault and that the women were in on the stunt. Since Pepper posted that video, several women have come forward with stories of being inappropriately touched or harassed by Pepper. Last week, Bryony Harris, 19, told BuzzFeed News that Pepper solicited nude photographs of her in 2011 when he was 22 and she was 15. And most recently, a Toronto woman told BuzzFeed News that Pepper raped her in April 2013."
 The above video and the reaction it got her is the reason why most victims of sexual assualt or abuse are afraid to come out about it.
"Posting this video did the opposite of benefitting me. It has outed me to public scrutiny, to rude and abusive comments, to shame and to fear. I am terrified of being contacted by Sam or his team. (Does he have one of those? How does this work? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.) I feel like rape is scary enough, but to go through a whole uglv scandal about mine is like second violation, and I hate this." - SOURCE
Too many men and women go through sexual assault or abuse and when they come out about it, more often than not unfortunately, most people, if not all people will side with the rapist rather than the victim. They'll accuse you of wanting attention, and if it's, god forbid, a celebrity of any kind that does the offense, money. They'll call you a liar and remain skeptical about your words. And while, yes, I am aware that there will always be those few people who do lie about serious issues and such to get whatever it is they're seeking (like that brook ayers guy who fucking lied about having cancer) but their lies should not lead to you generalizing everyone who comes out about having been raped or sexually abused as a liar.
It's like with Bill Cosby. If there's a lot of people coming out about what someone did to them, there's gotta be something going on there, whether you want to believe it or not.
Despite it being unrelated to Sam, a good example of a victim of rape being turned on by, basically, a entire community of people is Daisy's story:
"As reported by the Star, on Saturday, January 8, 2012, Maryville High School freshman cheerleader Daisy (whose identity has been made public by her mother) had been having a sleepover with her 13-year-old friend. The girls were drinking liquor hidden in her bedroom and texting Matthew Barnett, 17, a football player and acquaintance of her older brother. Daisy had a crush on the older boy, who had been at the Coleman home just days earlier watching TV. That night around 1a.m., the two girls snuck out of the house to meet up with Barnett and a group of his friends, sneaking through a basement window at Barnett's house.

There, Daisy was handed two glasses of booze, one after the other. She doesn't remember being raped by Barnett, while one of his friends, a 15-year-old boy, raped her 13-year-old friend as she said "no" multiple times. One boy who was there that night, Jordan Zech, 17, a football player and wrestler, captured Daisy's assault on on iPhone video.
Daisy was so drunk she had to be carried out of the Barnett home; multiple kids confirmed that as she was being taken back to her house, she was crying. Daisy's 13-year-old friend found her way back into the Coleman house, but Daisy was left in a tee shirt and sweatpants on the front lawn overnight. When her mother, Melinda Coleman, found her the next morning after she heard noises from outside, Daisy's hair was frozen.
Melinda brought her daughter indoors and warmed her up in a bath. That's when she noticed physical signs of sexual assault and immediately took her daughter to the hospital.
Police hauled in the young men, who admitted to drinking and "sex" with the girls. Barnett insisted what happened was consensual; under Missouri law, sex cannot be consensual if the victim is incapacitated by alcohol. Barnett was charged with felony sexual assault and misdemeanor endangerment of the welfare of a child. Zech, who had filmed the encounter, was charged with sexual exploitation.
Retribution against the Coleman children was swift. Daisy was suspended from the cheerleading team (presumably for drinking) and slutshamed by her peers. Melinda Coleman was warned about chatter online saying her sons would get beaten up. Daisy's older brother heard Zech's video of the assault was being passed around school. Then Melinda Coleman lost her job at a veterinary clinic. (Her boss admitted to the Star to having "ties" to one of the boys involved.)

This is where the story takes on a Steubenville-level of absurdity in how the perpetrators walked free. In March 2012, prosecutor Robert Rice dismissed the felony cases against the boys. Barnett's misdemeanor charge for child endangerment (for leaving Daisy out in the cold) was later dropped as well.
In an interview, Rice was quoted as saying, "They were doing what they wanted to do, and there weren’t any consequences. And it’s reprehensible. But is it criminal? No." How did Rice come to such a conclusion? Barnett, it turns out, was a grandson of former MO State Representative Rex Barnett. Rex Bennett denied any meddling to the Star.
Because the charges were dropped, rape kit results and witness interviews are now sealed. AChange.org petition by a friend of the mother of the 13-year-old girl is asking for Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to step in to investigate Rice's mishandling of the rape case.
In the mean time, the Coleman family has moved 40 miles away. Six months ago, they learned their Maryville home had been burned to the ground. Daisy, according to the Star, has attempted suicide at least two times.
It's a story that calls to mind not only Steubenville, but Rehtaeh Parsons and Audrie Pott, two teen girls in Nova Scotia and California who killed themselves after they were raped by peers and then harassed for being victims. As is all too common, these young women were blamed for their own assaults while their rapists receive a slap on the wrist (at most). Daisy is still alive today, thankfully. Here's hoping the national focus on her story will bring more attention to both the slutshaming and abuse she and her family suffered, rather than magnify it."
 What happened to Daisy is terrible, and it's a damn shame that the welfare of another human being is being put second to someone's fame or sports.
I apologize for going off on a tangent about rape, but what Sam did is inexcusable and should not be left on a shelf to collect dust while he probably still rapes or harasses other girls.

As far as pranks go there are just some lines that you should not cross. There are tons of people on YouTube who do pranks where they pretend they got seriously hurt, or committed suicide, and I don't get it. How do you justify doing that as a prank to someone in your mind?



  1. I agree with you. He went too far and crossed the line! I really hope some kind of action is taken against him because this was just too much.

  2. I'm glad to see that people are finally seeing Sam for the asshole he is! I was shocked to see he actually had a large following even in the aftermath of the sexual assault claims and the "fake hand ass pinch" video last year!!! I'm hoping he finally gets removed from YouTube, or social media in general! Actually I'd suggest you share the petition to get him removed from YouTube with your readers https://www.change.org/p/youtube-petition-to-youtube-to-deactivate-sam-pepper-s-channel?recruiter=205837636&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive

    I wrote a similar article over on my own blog sharing my views on Sam Pepper, if you'd like to give it a read :)