Sam Pepper, a popular YouTube personality, has landed in hot water after posting a series of videos titled “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank,” with many calling his “social experiment” an offensive stunt.

Sam Pepper Sexual Harassment Prank Video

Pepper, a former Big Brother UK contestant, uploaded the first “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” video on Sept. 20. The video features Pepper walking around L.A., asking young women for directions and then sneakily pinching their backsides.

The video immediately went viral – Pepper boasts 2.4 million subscribers – and caused outrage. Many were appalled by Pepper’s nonchalant attitude towards sexual harassment, and comments were heated. The video was taken down from YouTube after being deemed offensive.

Not only did Pepper receive overwhelming negative reactions form the public, fellow YouTubers also spoke out against his actions. Friend and collaborator Mazzi Maz publicly said he thought Pepper had crossed a line with his new video, telling BBC News, “There are things you just don’t do. YouTube is a place where you can get ripped to shreds.” Maz added that, though he remains friends with Pepper, he won’t be collaborating with him again any time soon.

Other YouTubers, such as John Green, Tyler Oakley, Meghan Tonjes, Wil Wheaton, Nathan Z and Matthew Santoro signed an open letter to Pepper written by YouTube personality Laci Green. In the letter, Green mentioned the trend of forcing women to be sexual in Pepper’s videos – one such video is titled “How to Pick Up Girls with a Lasso.”

“We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a ‘social experiment,’ these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women,” Green wrote.

Hank Green later informed his followers that Pepper would not be invited back to VidCon.

"Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank" Part 2

Early Tuesday morning, Pepper uploaded a new video, which he called Part 2 of “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank.” In this video, Pepper recruited a female friend to pinch men’s backsides. Upon the release of this second video, Pepper hinted that he was trying to make a social commentary piece all along, tweeting, “If you’ve seen something one way, will it change what you would of thought of it another way?”

Part 2 was swiftly removed by YouTube, and was gone within hours. Pepper has uploaded all his videos to Facebook.

Sam Pepper Claims Videos Were A "Social Experiment"

Finally, ten hours later, after Part 2 had already been taken down by YouTube, Pepper released a third video, in which he attempted to explain his intent behind the first two. After assuring viewers that the previous videos were “staged and scripted” and that all people involved were acting, Pepper said that he made the video to show how sexual harassment against men is taken less seriously than sexual assault against women.

Pepper congratulated viewers who had called him out after the release of the first video, saying, “The majority of viewers were disgusted by such displays of open sexual harassment. That’s how it should be.”

He went on to say that he was inspired to create a “social experiment” after hearing about a male friend’s experience with domestic abuse. Pepper claims a friend of his was abused by his wife, and, when he called the police to report the abuse, he was treated as the abuser because he was male. Pepper claimed that the second video, in which a woman was sexually harassing men in the street, received a much more tame reaction from viewers, and much less outrage.

“I don’t want to turn off a light on a very real and scary issue women face, I just want to shine a light on an otherwise dark corner: abuse on men,” Pepper said.

Many are not buying Pepper’s “social experiment” explanation, saying that he is desperately trying to cover up a tasteless prank. As many doubters have pointed out, Pepper makes no mention of the first video being one of a series, nor does he address the fact that the second video was taken down much quicker than the first, making a comparison of views and comments between the two problematic.

Sam Pepper Accused Of Sexual Assault

Finally, other YouTube personalities, Hannah Witton and Dottie have come out in the wake of Pepper’s catastrophic series and accused Pepper of sexual harassment.

Read more about: