YACHT issue statement on “sex tape” hoax, release actual video on Pornhub
UPDATE: Head to the bottom of this post for YACHT’s statement and the video link…
YACHT‘s supposed sex tape leak, and subsequent selling of the tape themselves, was in fact (in our own words), a “high-concept promo hoax” to promote a video for “I Wanna Fuck You Til I’m Dead” from last year’s I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler. Today Jezebel published an email that their parent site Gawker had received from singer Claire Evans on April 6:
For the upcoming music video for our song, “I Wanna Fuck You Til I’m Dead,” we’re faking a sex tape leak.
In the days leading up to the video’s release, we’re going to pretend we were hacked, share and delete confessional social media posts on the subject of our privacy, then try to “get out in front of it” and sell the sex tape, fake a server crash, etc.
Anyone who tried to buy the digital download from YACHT only got a 404 Error. Playing along with this publicity stunt yesterday were filmmaker/author Miranda July and Nick from Islands:
— nick from islands (@NickfromIslands) May 9, 2016
— Miranda July (@Miranda_July) May 9, 2016
If you think we need to "chill out" about the YACHT thing, talk to more women. Like, the merit of their work is meaningless now.
— Claire Lobenfeld (@clairevlo) May 10, 2016
ill-conceived fake revenge porn as a marketing ploy for intensely mediocre music. Dear @YACHT, please fuck off.
— T. Cole Rachel (@tcolerachel) May 10, 2016
leaking a sex tape is sexual assault, and pretending to be the victim of a sexual assault for shits&gigs/publicity is fucking depraved
— a. lapage (@perverted_creep) May 10, 2016
— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) May 10, 2016
— Patrick Coffee (@PatrickCoffee) May 10, 2016
UPDATE: Here’s YACHT’s statement and the video link:
Our sex tape is now viewable on PornHub and being seeded on The Pirate Bay.
We created a story that was quickly revealed as fiction by the internet. We expected interest, skepticism, and laughter. We didn’t anticipate the outpouring of genuine support, due partially to the credulity with which this story was so extensively and immediately reported.
We did make a “sex tape,” and we want you to watch it. We released it as a slowly-unveiling conspiracy, inspired in equal part by The X-Files, Nathan for You, and The KLF. It’s a project that allowed us to play with science fiction, the attention economy, clickbait journalism, and celebrity sex tapes all at once.
If you tried to purchase the video here, your card was never charged. This was not designed to make money or sell records, but to explore the intersection of privacy, media, and celebrity. We enjoy and have spent a decade creating multi-faceted projects that unfold over time, using the most current tools at our disposal.
There is one dark note we want to address. We never make light of victims of any form of sexual abuse. Frankly, it’s disturbing to us that press outlets could make the incredibly irresponsible leap from “celebrity sex tape,” which is the cultural trope this project explicitly references, to “revenge porn,” which is unfunny, disgusting, morally repugnant, and completely unrelated. Even within the fictional narrative we created, there was no violence or exploitation. It was always about agency and proactive empowerment.
We couldn’t have asked for better fans, and we realize we’ll need to try much harder to fool you. We will continue to work very hard to produce work that engages and responds to you.
Claire & Jona