US duo YACHT released a statement yesterday, explaining that a sex tape between the two band members had been leaked online and as a result they’d decided to make the tape available for purchase in order to regain control of their fates and give fans a legal recourse to view it, if they had to.
In the statement, band mates Bechtolt and Evans wrote that the leaking of the alleged tape was an “exploitation” of their rights, and that they hoped that most members of the public would “choose not to view” the tape.
“Controlling how this video is seen, and who profits from it, is the only form of agency we have left over this exploitative situation,” they wrote.
Now the story has been unveiled as an elaborate publicity stunt, as many had begun to suspect. The tape has been revealed as a ploy to draw attention to their video for the song I Wanna Fuck You Til I’m Dead – which has now been uploaded to Pornhub.
In a new statement attempting to explain the reasoning behind their actions, the band said that they didn’t expect “the outpouring of genuine support” that resulted from the original revelation about the leaked tape. They then justified the ploy by saying it was merely “a project that allowed us to play with science fiction, the attention economy, clickbait journalism, and celebrity sex tapes all at once”.
They explained that no-one who paid for the tape was actually charged, because: “This was not designed to make money or sell records, but to explore the intersection of privacy, media, and celebrity”.
— ˠ ᴬ ꜂ ᴴ ⊤ (@YACHT) May 10, 2016
In their new statement, the band claim they would “never make light of victims of sexual abuse”, and that it was ridiculous that press outlets made the irresponsible leap from “celebrity sex tape” to “revenge porn”. “Even within the fictional narrative we created, there was no violence of exploitation,” it reads, seemingly discounting the fact they used the actual phrase “This is an exploitation” in their initial post.
It doesn’t seem like many are buying into their hypocrisy, and the backlash from fans and the public on Twitter has been swift, with many calling out the band for making it harder for real victims to come forward after pretending themselves be victims of this kind of sexual exploitation. Others defended the way the story was broken in the media.
UPDATE 12/05/16: YACHT have attempted to apologise again for the fake story and for their previous “shitty non-apology”.
@YACHT You claimed someone released tape w/o your consent, a clear sexual violation. How is that unrelated to rev porn or unexploitative?
— Ruby Red (@Rubyguggenheim) May 10, 2016
@YACHT you literally pretended to be sexual assault victims for publicity. You are everything wrong with everything
— Lindsay Erin (@Lovely_Linds) May 10, 2016
@YACHT You have made life harder for victims. You can never erase that. Nobody cares about your mastubatory art projects. Fuck off.
— Scott Butterworth (@Butterwomp) May 10, 2016
.@YACHT So maybe don’t blame the press for doing what survivor advocates fight for daily: Believing someone who says they were violated
— Kim Bellware (@bellwak) May 10, 2016
@YACHT Your every action makes lights of the victims of sexual abuse. For professional musicians you are shockingly tone deaf.
— AoM (@mighthaverabies) May 10, 2016