YouTube is home to the new generation of entertainers – YouTubers. Including beauty vloggers, short film makers, gamers and daily vloggers, YouTube has been a platform for these young individuals to gain millions upon millions of views and subscribers along with worldwide fame, book deals and record deals. However in 2014 YouTube was under scrutiny for a much worse reason.
Rewind to early 2014, Sam Pepper’s career was at it’s peak. He had millions of subscribers, had been on both a UK and US tour and appeared on Big Brother, however fast forward to September 2014 and his career was well and truly over.
Sam Pepper was a popular YouTuber, posting weekly prank videos, however his bum-pinching video would pretty much end his career. The video featured him wearing a fake arm to distract women, then doing exactly what the title states, pinching their bums. Sam received much backlash over the video and it soon went viral and many media outlets picked up on the story. Following the video, many woman have come forward claiming Sam sexually harassed and manipulated them.
Another YouTuber, Jason Sampson (Veeoneeye on youtube), known for his gravity defying, rainbow coloured hair, was on the receiving end of sexual manipulation allegations in 2014, much to the surprised many of his viewers as he appeared to be a free spirited young man, who wouldn’t say boo to a goose in his videos. It was revealed he slept with an underage fan whilst she was under the influence of alcohol (which he had bought her), so even if she had been sober her consent wouldn’t have counted due to her age – she was 15 at the time.
Jason uploaded an apology video to the victim, Ania, at the end of September 2014 but uploaded it as ‘unlisted’ meaning only those with the actual link to the video could view it, he has since put the video on private. This has made many question the legitimacy of his apology as he states he tried to message Ania to apologise but she says she never received these, he also seems to try and excuse his behaviour by claiming his upbringing kept him sheltered and he didn’t know how to behave without his parent’s rules.
Many YouTube fans, and even just members of the public believe Jason and Sam, along with the numerous other youtubers with similar allegations against them, should be banned from YouTube. However both Jason and Sam continue to make videos in 2015 and, although they have lost all their sponsors and product placement ads, they still get paid per video. There is no exact number on how much they make per video, but baring in mind some YouTubers are supposedly millionaires (or at least close) it must be a lot!
Jason has also caused controversy by updating his snapchat story continuously, showing he has seemingly moved to and is travelling around America with his friend Karim Abridged – whom also is facing sexual harrasment allegations – where they are having the time of their lives and not facing any repercussions for their actions.
The fact that Jason and Sam met the girls making the allegations through YouTube events is creating a bad image for the YouTube community and in turn making parents wary of allowing their children to attend these conventions which could mean that they may somehow change in 2015 or even soon cease to exist. This means the other hundreds of YouTube creators and their fans may miss out.
On the plus side, both Jason and Sam’s subscriber counts have dramatically fallen since the allegations were made and are still dropping now, meaning they are likely to be making far less money than they previously were and the number will continue to drop.
So, should these YouTubers, and other YouTube creators in the same position, be allowed back into the YouTube community and be able to continue earning money?