Turns Out YACHT Sex Tape Was Fake, Band Issues Statement About Publicity Stunt | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Turns Out YACHT Sex Tape Was Fake, Band Issues Statement About Publicity Stunt

"It's a project that allowed us to play with science fiction, the attention economy, clickbait journalism, and celebrity sex tapes all at once."

May 10, 2016
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Yesterday we posted the strange story that YACHT were selling their own sex tape after it at leaked. Well it turns out the whole thing was fake, a publicity stunt that has not been well received now that the truth has been revealed. The band has issued a statement about the whole thing after various websites debunked the story and called the band out.

To rewind, the electro-pop duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans have been romantic partners since 2006, as well as bandmates. Yesterday they claimed in a Facebook post they had filmed a sex tape purely for their personal pleasure and use, but that it was leaked to the Internet "due to a series of technological missteps and one morally abject person." While they were commencing legal action against the person responsible for the leak, the duo said that they had made the unusual choice to actually sell the tape for $5.00 on a new website they had launched named fuck.teamyacht.com. "This video is out there now. We can't change that. But we can try to be 'as YACHT as possible' about it and take some kind of ownership over what has happened," the band wrote in a separate Facebook post.

Well, today, various stories showed up online debunking the whole thing and now the band has confessed that it was all a hoax.

Firstly, an article on Vice's Thump site seriously questioned the validity of the sex tape story, pointing out that when users tried to buy the tape they got a "server error" page and their card wasn't charged and that the fuck.teamyacht site was actually made live the night before the sex tape supposedly got leaked.

Then the supposed sex tape appeared on PornHub, but instead of being a sex tape it featured Bechtolt and Evans cuddling and kissing while filmed in night vision, before a surprise sci-fi/alien horror ending.

Then in article over at Jezebel it was revealed that Evans had sent an email to someone at Gawker Media on April 6 saying that they were planning to fake a sex tape story:

"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."

Stereogum (who were one of the few music sites not to report on the sex tape yesterday) were disgusted by all this, as were their commenters, and also pointed out that Best Coast and Shamir, among others, weren't amused either:

The main issue is that many of YACHT's fans seemed to really be upset that this had happened to the band and they offered their heartfelt support of the duo, all for what turned out to be a publicity stunt for a music video. Then Judy Miller Silverman, whose Motormouthmedia handled the publicity for YACHT's latest album, pointed out that she had nothing to do with any of this:

And now YACHT has issued this statement on the fuck.teamyacht site:

"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-FilesNathan 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.

Love,
Claire & Jona"

Let's hope that we can now all put this ridiculous, time-wasting incident behind us. But at the end of the day, it all worked. Lots of people are now talking about YACHT who otherwise wouldn't have and today the band have been a trending topic on Twitter. In the long run, however, it may sour many on the band.



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