YouTube Star's New Prank Video, Featuring a Kidnapping and Fake Execution, Draws Fire from Fans
Apparently, the video does not violate YouTube's community guidelines and will not be removed from the site
Sam Pepper is a YouTube star and former Big Brother contestant whose YouTube channel is populated with all kinds of viral “pranks.” But his latest one has fans crying foul.
The video (Warning: Graphic content) shows Pepper staging a kidnapping with Vine stars Sam Golbach and Colby Brock. With Brock as the “inside man,” Pepper stages a kidnapping: Golbach is hooded and stuffed into the trunk of a car, and the video ends with Pepper pretending to shoot Colby in the head in front of his friend.
The video has logged over 2.6 million views since it was uploaded, but the response is fairly negative: Many fans are calling for Pepper’s YouTube account to be deactivated, describing Pepper’s prank as “twisted” and “sick.”
Golbach has released a series of statements on the video, writing, “I’m not traumatized, I don’t hate either Colby or Sam.”
“After filming, we spent two weeks talking about the video, and seeing the final product/comments from our friends, I realized it’s completely in sync with Colby and I’s message we are trying to spread, ‘Life is short. Appreciate every moment. And especially, treasure your friends and make sure they know how important they are to you.”
“Going into social media I knew at one point there would be a prank or something like this that would happen,” Golbach wrote in an earlier tweet. “After thinking through it all and spending the next few days with both Colby and Sam I’m honestly not mad. It anything this made Colby and I’s friendship much stronger because it showed me how much we actually care for one another.”
The clip does seem to violate YouTube’s community guidelines, which prohibit “violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful,” though it’s still online as of this writing. (Both Pepper and YouTube have been reached out to for comment.) Fan outrage about it continues to pour in on YouTube and other social media sites. What do you think? Weigh in on the controversial video in the comments below.