Claire Evans: “This was not designed to make money or sell records”
YACHT have released a statement explaining that their fake sex tape was a stunt intended to “explore the intersection of privacy, media, and celebrity”.
The Portland duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans claimed in a post on Facebook yesterday (April 9) that an intimate video they made together had been leaked to the public, blaming “one morally abject person”. They went on to claim to have “commenced legal proceedings” against them.
The two subsequently told fans in an update that they had decided to sell the video themselves through their own website.
The video has now been revealed to be a hoax, intended to promote their song ‘I Wanna Fuck You Til I’m Dead’. The “sex tape”, in fact a music video for the track, was uploaded to Pornhub earlier today and Jezebel reports that the pair tried to inform sister site Gawker about their plans weeks before.
In a statement posted on their website, Bechtolt and Evans said that the ruse “allowed us to play with science fiction, the attention economy, clickbait journalism, and celebrity sex tapes all at once”.
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.”
Bechtolt and Evans also responded to accusations that the stunt trivialised revenge porn.
“We never make light of victims of any form of sexual abuse,” they wrote. “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.
YACHT’s PR company Motormouthmedia have distanced themselves from the band’s stunt, writing on Twitter that “we are not involved in the YACHT situation in any way”.