British YouTuber Sam Pepper, best-known to non–YouTube teenagers for a prank video in which he appeared to non-consensually grab women’s butts as they stopped to give him directions on the street, posted a lengthy, blurry video to his now-empty account this morning in which he apologizes for many things, including making himself look like a “douche” and an “idiot” just to get more views on YouTube.
He said his explanation after backlash against the butt-grabbing video — that it was a “social experiment” — is “bullshit.” The crux of what he appears to be saying in the video is that really, he’s a great guy who just made some dumb videos and lost his massive fanbase.
He notably brushes off the multiple rapes he’s been accused of, while making a larger point that people hate him on the internet now, so of course fake rape allegations follow. In fact, they’re really inconveniencing his life; he had to tell his new girlfriend of four months that multiple women had accused him of sexually assaulting them, and no one wants to have to say that to their new girlfriend. “If I had done that,” he says, referring to raping multiple women, “I wouldn’t be sitting here now.” I don’t feel I need to link to statistics about how often men don’t get punished for raping women here.
He also called into a channel called Drama Alert, hosted by YouTuber Daniel Keem, to talk more about the rape allegations. “It was just a super shit time for me,” he told Keem, who is the subject of a Change.org petition asking YouTube to remove his channel for repeated incidents of racism. “What a stupid thing to have to say,” Pepper told Keem of having to explain the rape allegations. After the allegations were first reported by BuzzFeed, Keem uploaded a video defending Pepper.
Last November, Pepper found himself the subject of further YouTube drama when he pranked the Vine star Sam Golbach by pretending to murder Golbach’s best friend, Colby Brock, in front of Golbach.
Pepper ends his confessional video by saying he’s going to continue making videos for YouTube. “I know there’s still gonna be people who’ll say stuff,” he says, tearing up. “I know there’s still people that are gonna hate, but if I’ve done this [make an apology video] and then make content that I really believe in, at least I’ll feel a bit better about myself.”