Sam Pepper. A name you’ll no doubt be sick of hearing of late.
If you’ve been reading our site – or indeed thousands of other media reports- you’ll know by now that Sam made a video in which he “pranked” a guy into believing his best friend had been shot right before his eyes. Not only did Pepper illegally kidnap the innocent victim but produced one of the most harrowing and difficult to watch videos in YouTube’s 10 year history.
But who is he? If you’re not familiar which his search for fame or why he was severely disliked before his infamous prank, here’s the low down.
Pepper became known to UK audiences in 2010 having entered the 11th series of Big Brother. Pepper replaced a housemate who left and entered the house on day 52. A mere 21 days later, he was evicted. During his time in the house, Pepper – who claimed he was a graffiti artist – caused the usual bit of mischief and had some pretty interesting fashion choices. Much to his avail, the public didn’t warm to him.
So far, so normal? Pretty much. Apart from a few tabloid headlines and going to the opening of an envelope in the weeks that followed, we heard little from Pepper until he gained an in-road with some of YouTube’s biggest stars and racked up huge numbers on the platform.
Having set up a YouTube channel a few weeks after his eviction, Sam uploaded his first video on 25th October 2010- a pretty dull video of him messing about with the effects on his Macbook camera. He persevered and used his TV credentials to have a stab at some presenting work and outdoor filming. A series of videos were born where Sam and friends spoke to the public… Something he’d later take to the extreme.
Pepper’s perseverance persisted and his seemingly charismatic and charming style started to see him rack up the views. Being based in Brighton, Pepper soon made connections with the likes of Alfie Deyes and Zoe Sugg who – in 2011 – were just starting to build their channels and gain a steady audience.
Within a few years, Pepper was seen as one of the British YouTube gang and appearances at Summer In The City and collabs with Zoella, Caspar Lee and BryBri were well received. At the time, his channel featured a mix of interviews with the public, meeting fans, the odd vlog and general funny sketches. In all honesty, 2013 was the year of Sam Pepper where his subscriber count was rocketing and his long held desire for fame was suddenly beginning to take off after a less-than-successful stint on Big Brother.
Pepper’s hundreds of thousands of subscribers and connections led him to move to LA with FunForLouis and move in with fellow YouTuber Sawyer. Pepper had hit the big time.
So, where did it all go wrong?
2014 was the year Sam’s world crumbled… Although it could be argued he doesn’t see it that way, especially after this week’s news.
In LA, Pepper made more and more prank videos- which his audience ate up. But one entitled “Crazy Sexual Experience” left a bitter taste in some people’s mouth. What right did Pepper have to walk up to people on a beach and ask them about their intimate details?
Quickly, a second video filmed on Venice Beach followed. “How To Make Out With Strangers” saw Pepper basically harass women and force his tongue down their throat- despite the fact they were clearly uncomfortable.
Still not enough, Sam filmed himself groping random women on the street. The video caused a surge in backlash towards Pepper and his attitude towards women. Tweets from YouTube’s power players and petitions to have him removed from YouTube soon followed. Pepper claimed the video was a “social experiment”.
Louise commented on Sam Pepper’s video YOU TELL HIM LOUISE pic.twitter.com/bTwncvBTSk
— Lisa (@hellosugg) September 21, 2014
So let me get this straight, Sam Pepper made a video sexually harassing people.. To try and teach us that sexual harassment is bad? Oh okay. — Joe Santagato (@JoeSantagato) September 23, 2014
At this point, women came forward and spoke about how they too had been sexually assaulted by Sam Pepper. An anonymous woman uploaded a video detailing how Pepper raped her. More women then came forward with the same accusation.
The YouTube community shunned Pepper immediately. Pepper’s vile behaviour to both adults and minors was revealed and police reports were filed. Sadly, Pepper did not face any charges. But his days of fame were over.
Despite this, Pepper continued to upload “prank” style videos to YouTube. All his previous associates, friends and colleagues voiced their disgust. What should have been as a sign to take a serious break from the Internet and the limelight didn’t happen.
And now we’re here, at the end of 2015 and Sam Pepper and his little sidekick made the “murder prank” that has seen the name Sam Pepper once again grab the attention of the media for the most disgusting of reasons.
At the time of writing, Pepper’s initial video has not been removed and still continues to grab headlines. With a sense of ignorance towards the distress his prank not only caused his victim in the “murder” video and towards the public who have watched it and felt uncomfortable, Pepper continues to tweet about his lunch and his life in LA.
What do you make of Sam Pepper? Let us know in the comments below.