Sam Pepper

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Sam Pepper
Sam Pepper 2014 (cropped).jpg
Pepper at VidCon 2014 in Anaheim, California
Personal information
BornSamuel Pepper
(1989-03-26) 26 March 1989 (age 31)
Ashford, England
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
YouTube information
Years active2010–present
Subscribers2.2+ million
Total views59+ million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2012
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2013

Samuel Pepper[1] (born 26 March[2][3] 1989[4]) is a British internet personality, video blogger, comedian, and prankster. Pepper created his YouTube channel in 2010 and holds over 2 million subscribers and 70 million video views as of February 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Pepper was born in Ashford, Kent. He is of half Greek descent.[5][6] He attended Pent Valley Technology College.[7][8]

Big Brother 11[edit]

When Sam was 21, in 2010, he 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.[1] He was evicted on Day 73 with 14.6% of the public vote.[9]

Online career[edit]

YouTube popularity rise and controversy (2010–2015)[edit]

On 8 September 2010, Pepper created his YouTube channel and began uploading videos, mainly consisting of pranks.[10] From late-2013 to mid-2014, Pepper, alongside friend and fellow YouTube personality Marius "Maz" Listhrop, began his worldwide comedy tour, "WDGAF Tour".[11][12]

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.

Apology and rebranding (2016–present)[edit]

"I'm really asking you guys, please give me a second chance and I can make content that represents me as a person, that inspires... that's why I've deleted every video on this channel and I'm only going to put up the ones that represent me.".

Pepper apologises in his video titled "i'm sorry", uploaded on 24 February 2016.[13]

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".[14][15][16][17] 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".[13][18][19][20] After the video was published, Pepper stopped uploading prank videos and began uploading vlogs, subsequently receiving a more positive response.[20][21]

In 2018, Pepper stopped uploading on his main channel and rebranded to his "Sam Pepper Live" channel, where he began vlogging and frequently live streaming alongside fellow live streamer Ice Poseidon.[22] The following year, Pepper rebranded once again and became inactive on YouTube, subsequently shifting to TikTok. He mainly posts short comedy videos consisting of "challenge videos, life–hacks, and stunts,” and his presence on TikTok has been described by Metro as a "fully-fledged comeback."[22][23]


Sexual harassment allegations[edit]

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.[24][25] Soon after the video was published, many women stated that they had been sexually harassed or raped by Pepper.[26][27][28][29] Subsequently, the hashtag #ReportSamPepper trended on Twitter, along with many people criticising Pepper's actions.[30][31] 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".[32][24] Pepper removed both of these videos from YouTube shortly after their releases.[33][30] 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".[26] The letter received more than 100,000 signatures, including many fellow YouTube personalities.[34]

Killing Best Friend Prank[edit]

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 kidnaps Golbach and Brock (the latter of whom was in on the prank alongside Pepper), who are parked at an unknown location, shoving Golbach into the trunk of the car with a bag over his head. Brock helps Pepper tie up Golbach and take him to a rooftop, where he is forced to watch Pepper "shoot" Brock, leaving Golbach in tears. The video caused a backlash on social media, also hitting media headlines.[35][36][37][38] British newspaper Metro compared the video to an "ISIS-style execution".[39] A subsequent online petition to have Pepper removed from YouTube gained over 100,000 signatures.[37][40] 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".[41] 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.[42] The campaign was removed shortly afterwards along with the accompanying video that was posted on his YouTube channel.[43]


  1. ^ a b "Samuel Pepper, John James Parton ('Big Brother 11')". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Sam Pepper on Twitter – "my birthday is the 26th of march"". Twitter. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Sam Pepper on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ "NEW HOUSEMATE REVEALED: It's Sam! - Big Brother - - New housemate, sam, housemate entry, eviction". 22 August 2010. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Draw My Life". YouTube. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Greek descent". Twitter. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Former Ashford student Sam Pepper evicted from Big Brother house". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Evicted: Sam Pepper left the Big Brother house on Friday". Retrieved 10 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Big Brother 2010: Corin, Sam and John James follow Steve out of house". Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Sam – About".
  11. ^ Campbell, Tina. "Sam Pepper: Meet the internet music and comedy sensation soon set to tour the UK". Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  12. ^ "UK YouTube Stars To Launch Comedy Show at Avalon Sept. 13". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  13. ^ a b "YouTuber Sam Pepper says he faked his videos and apologises". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  14. ^ Lindsay, Duncan. "'I give up': Controversial YouTube prankster Sam Pepper deletes all of his videos and tweets". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Sam Pepper deletes social media content and posts message, I Give Up". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  16. ^ Charalambous, Sophia. "Sam Pepper deletes everything from Twitter and writes 'I give up'". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  17. ^ Payton, Matt. "Sam Pepper quits Twitter, makes his YouTube content private". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  18. ^ Lindsay, Duncan. "YouTube star Sam Pepper breaks his silence with apology video in which he addresses sexual assault claims". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ a b "'Idiot' prankster Sam Pepper confesses he faked his YouTube videos". Mashable. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Looks Like Sam Pepper Has Some Bad News For Us". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  22. ^ a b "How disgraced YouTuber Sam Pepper became a viral TikTok star: From Big Brother and distressing pranks to a fully-fledged comeback". Metro. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Who Is TikTok Star Sam Pepper? From YouTube Outcast to Viral Sensation". Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Sam Pepper says his bum pinching video was a 'staged experiment'". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  25. ^ "YouTube Star Sam Pepper Attempts To 'Prank' Women By Grabbing Their Butts". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  26. ^ a b Hernandez, Brian. "YouTuber Sam Pepper Hit With Sexual-Harassment Claims After 'Ass Pinch' Prank". Mashable. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  27. ^ Jaworski, Michelle. "More women are coming forward to accuse Sam Pepper of rape". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  28. ^ "Sam Pepper investigated by LA police in July". BBC. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  29. ^ "Has Sam Pepper been accused of rape?". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  30. ^ a b "YouTube star Sam Pepper denies butt-grabbing "prank" is sexual harassment". CBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  31. ^ "YouTube co-star Mazzi Maz: Sam Pepper 'has gone too far'". BBC. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  32. ^ Sherwin, Adam. "YouTube star Sam Pepper faces assault claims". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  33. ^ "Big Brother's Sam Pepper has had offensive bum pinch video removed from YouTube". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  34. ^ "YouTube star Sam Pepper faces sexual harassment claims". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  35. ^ "YouTube won't be removing 'cruel' Sam Pepper 'killing prank' video". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  36. ^ Coggan, Devan. "Digital stars call for YouTube to delete Sam Pepper's channel after prank video backlash". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  37. ^ a b "Over 100,000 people want YouTube to ban Sam Pepper for staging a prank murder". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  38. ^ "Sam Pepper heavily criticised for 'vile' fake murder prank video". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  39. ^ McAteer, Ollie. "The line has officially been crossed with 'killing best friend prank'". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  40. ^ "More than 200,000 people want YouTube to ban prankster Sam Pepper for staging an intense murder". National Post. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  41. ^ "YouTubers behind 'killing best friend prank' say they're shocked at all the hate". Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  42. ^ Cullen, Clare. "Controversial YouTuber Sam Pepper pledges to delete YouTube channel – for $1.5M in donations". Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  43. ^ 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.

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