26 March 1989
Ashford, Kent, England
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Total views||70+ million|
Samuel "Sam" Pepper (born 26 March 1989) is a British YouTube personality, video blogger, comedian, and prankster. Since creating his YouTube channel in 2010, Pepper holds over 2 million subscribers and 70 million video views as of February 2017.
Early life and education
Big Brother 11
In 2010, Pepper was a housemate on the eleventh season of the British reality television series Big Brother. He entered the house on Day 52 as Laura's replacement as part of the "Ignore the Obvious" task. He was evicted on Day 73 with 14.6% of the public vote.
On 8 September 2010, Pepper created his YouTube channel and began uploading videos, mainly consisting of pranks. From late-2013 to mid-2014, Pepper, alongside friend and fellow YouTube personality Marius "Maz" Listhrop, began their worldwide comedy tour, "WDGAF Tour".
In 2014, Pepper faced controversy after uploading a video titled "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank". This caused Pepper to face sexual harassment allegations by many women after the video was published. In 2015, Pepper uploaded a video titled "Killing Best Friend Prank", which includes a masked Pepper "shooting" Colby Brock in front of his friend Sam Golbach, causing further backlash from social media.
On 21 February 2016, Pepper made all of his YouTube videos private and deleted all of his tweets except for one stating "I give up". He uploaded a 20-minute video on 24 February called "i'm sorry". In the video, Pepper confessed that many of his pranks, including his controversial "Killing Best Friend Prank", were staged. He also denied all allegations of sexual harassment and rape towards him. He apologised for his fake videos, calling himself an "idiot" and stated that he would continue uploading on YouTube and "make content that [he] really believe[s] in". After the video was published, Pepper stopped uploading prank videos and began uploading vlogs, subsequently receiving a more positive response. In April 2016, Pepper made several of his videos public again.
Sexual harassment allegations
In September 2014, Pepper uploaded a controversial video titled "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank". In the video, Pepper would go up to women and ask for directions before pinching their buttocks. Soon after the video was published, many women accused Pepper of sexually harassing them. Subsequently, the hashtag #ReportSamPepper trended on Twitter, along with many people criticising Pepper's actions. Pepper released another video a few days later where women would go behind men and pinch their buttocks. On the same day, he published another video explaining that his first prank was a "social experiment" and that the video was "staged and scripted". He went on to say that sexual harassment was "the focal point of the experiment". Both of Pepper's videos were removed from YouTube shortly after their releases. Fellow video blogger Laci Green published a video called "Sam Pepper Exposed", addressing the sexual harassment allegations to Pepper. Green also wrote an open letter calling on Pepper to "stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views". The letter received more than 100,000 signatures, including many fellow YouTube personalities.
"Killing Best Friend Prank"
In November 2015, Pepper uploaded a video entitled "Killing Best Friend Prank". The video features internet personalities Sam Golbach and Colby Brock. In the video, a masked Pepper kidnapped Golbach and Brock (the latter of which was in on the prank alongside Pepper), who were parked at an unknown location, shoving Golbach into the trunk of the car with a bag over his head. Brock helped Pepper tie up Golbach and take him to a rooftop, where he was forced to watch Pepper "shoot" Brock, leaving Golbach in tears. The video caused a backlash on social media, also hitting media headlines. British newspaper Metro compared the video to an "ISIS-style execution". A subsequent online petition to have Pepper removed from YouTube gained over 100,000 signatures. In an interview with Metro, Pepper stated that the criticism towards the video and himself was "shocking". In the same interview, Golbach stated that the message of the video was "about living life to the full... not taking life for granted and loving it because it’s short". In response to the ongoing criticism, Pepper started a GoFundMe campaign, stating that he would delete his YouTube channel if $1.5 million was pledged to him. The campaign was shortly removed along with the accompanying video that was posted on his YouTube channel.
- "Samuel Pepper, John James Parton ('Big Brother 11')". digitalspy.com. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Sam Pepper on Twitter – "my birthday is the 26th of march"". Twitter. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Sam Pepper on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Draw My Life". YouTube. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Former Ashford student Sam Pepper evicted from Big Brother house". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Evicted: Sam Pepper left the Big Brother house on Friday". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Big Brother 2010: Corin, Sam and John James follow Steve out of house". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Sam – About". youtube.com.
- Campbell, Tina. "Sam Pepper: Meet the internet music and comedy sensation soon set to tour the UK". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "UK YouTube Stars To Launch Comedy Show at Avalon Sept. 13". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "YouTuber Sam Pepper says he faked his videos and apologises". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Lindsay, Duncan. "'I give up': Controversial YouTube prankster Sam Pepper deletes all of his videos and tweets". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Sam Pepper deletes social media content and posts message, I Give Up". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Charalambous, Sophia. "Sam Pepper deletes everything from Twitter and writes 'I give up'". dailystar.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Payton, Matt. "Sam Pepper quits Twitter, makes his YouTube content private". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Lindsay, Duncan. "YouTube star Sam Pepper breaks his silence with apology video in which he addresses sexual assault claims". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "YouTube Star Sam Pepper Apologizes for Calling His Bad YouTube Videos 'Social Experiments'". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Saul, Heather. "Sam Pepper: YouTuber claims his entire online persona is fake in video after deleting everything bar one tweet". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "'Idiot' prankster Sam Pepper confesses he faked his YouTube videos". Mashable. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Sam Pepper, Dapper Laughs and the art of the internet apology". New Statesman. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
- "Looks Like Sam Pepper Has Some Bad News For Us". unilad.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
- "Sam Pepper says his bum pinching video was a 'staged experiment'". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "YouTube Star Sam Pepper Attempts To 'Prank' Women By Grabbing Their Butts". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Hernandez, Brian. "YouTuber Sam Pepper Hit With Sexual-Harassment Claims After 'Ass Pinch' Prank". Mashable. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Jaworski, Michelle. "More women are coming forward to accuse Sam Pepper of rape". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Sam Pepper investigated by LA police in July". BBC. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Has Sam Pepper been accused of rape?". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- "YouTube star Sam Pepper denies butt-grabbing "prank" is sexual harassment". CBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "YouTube co-star Mazzi Maz: Sam Pepper 'has gone too far'". BBC. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Sherwin, Adam. "YouTube star Sam Pepper faces assault claims". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Big Brother's Sam Pepper has had offensive bum pinch video removed from YouTube". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- "YouTube star Sam Pepper faces sexual harassment claims". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "YouTube won't be removing 'cruel' Sam Pepper 'killing prank' video". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Coggan, Devan. "Digital stars call for YouTube to delete Sam Pepper's channel after prank video backlash". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Over 100,000 people want YouTube to ban Sam Pepper for staging a prank murder". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Sam Pepper heavily criticised for 'vile' fake murder prank video". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- McAteer, Ollie. "The line has officially been crossed with 'killing best friend prank'". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "More than 200,000 people want YouTube to ban prankster Sam Pepper for staging an intense murder.". National Post. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "YouTubers behind 'killing best friend prank' say they're shocked at all the hate". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Cullen, Clare. "Controversial YouTuber Sam Pepper pledges to delete YouTube channel – for $1.5M in donations". Independent.ie. Independent.ie. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- Baker, Gavia. "Sam Pepper's $1.5 million crowdfunding stunt to delete his YouTube channel didn't last long". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 17 December 2015.