YACHT have released a new statement apologising for their sex tape hoax.
The Portland duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans have come under fire from activists and fellow musicians for a recent publicity stunt, which saw them fake a sex tape leak.
After initially defending the stunt, the pair have acknowledged the criticism levelled at them and offered an apology to fans in a second post on their Facebook page earlier today (April 11).
“We take full responsibility for what has happened, and we are truly sorry,” they wrote. “We know we’ve broken a bond of trust with many of our fans and friends. Thank you to those that called us out and helped us to understand the gravity of the mistake we made.”
They continue: “We should not have hinged this entire project on the fiction that we were the victims of a leaked tape, and we’re equally disappointed in ourselves for taking so long to get over being shocked at the response and write this apology.”
Earlier this week, Bechtolt and Evans claimed that an intimate video they made together had been leaked to the public, blaming “one morally abject person”. They subsequently told fans in an update that they had decided to sell the video themselves through their own website.
After revealing the sex tape to be fake yesterday, the band explained that the ruse was intended to “explore the intersection of privacy, media, and celebrity”.
The two said they “didn’t anticipate the outpouring of genuine support, due partially to the credulity with which this story was so extensively and immediately reported.”
“This is a bullshit marketing stunt,” lawyer Carrie Goldberg, whose New York law firm helps victims of internet harassment, told The Guardian. “As somebody who spends all day, every day working with actual victims of nonconsensual porn and rapes that have videos and gone viral, I just thought: ‘Where are these guys, I’m going to come and hunt them down'”.
Best Coast also echoed the criticism, writing on Twitter that YACHT’s stunt wasn’t “cutting edge shit” but that “playing the victim and exploiting your fans” was “just a real shitty asshole thing to do”.
In the band’s latest statement, they admitted they had made a “glaring error… in positioning ourselves as the victims of a leaked sex tape” and retracted their previous post.