An Indie Band Faked a Sex Tape Scandal and People Are Outraged

Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt of the band Yacht attend the WIRED by Design retreat at Skywalker Sound on September 30, 2014.a
Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt of the band Yacht attend the WIRED by Design retreat at Skywalker Sound on September 30, 2014.a Lester Cohen/Getty Images for WIRED

Joke’s on them. In an attempt to “explore the intersection of privacy, media and celebrity,” indie band YACHT members Claire L. Evans and Jona Bechtolt tricked fans into thinking their sex tape had been leaked.

In a May 9 Facebook post, the duo claimed they were going to take legal action against the “morally abject person” who leaked their tape, summoning hundreds of sympathetic fans to rush to their aid. “Just because we are public figures does not mean we asked for this," they wrote. "Like anyone, we still deserve to have a choice about what we share with the world. Today we no longer have that choice."

But on Tuesday, May 10, the band revealed that it was all a hoax, part of a “project that allowed us to play with science fiction, the attention economy, click bait journalism and celebrity sex tapes all at once.”

Unfortunately for them, their little “project” backfired in a big way. Fans bashed the couple for exploiting people’s “earnest concern” and for making light of “legitimately serious, traumatizing stuff like revenge porn and female sexual agency for publicity.”

Evans and Bechtolt have since issued an apology, agreeing that fans should be upset with them.

“First off, we’re sorry,” an apology posted to their site on Wednesday, May 11, read. “The reaction to this endeavor highlights a glaring error we made in positioning ourselves as the victims of a leaked sex tape. We understand that positioning it that way from the beginning was an egregious mistake, and are so ashamed we hadn’t considered this beforehand. Yes, this was all a ‘hoax’ or ‘PR stunt,’ and one we were so excited to share. While there is inherent deception in pulling a hoax, it was never our intention to mock or make light of anyone who has been a victim of a privacy violation like the one we mentioned. This was a lazy starting point for what we wanted to be a much more fun story about the expectations of a sex tape and the frenzy surrounding the taboo of sex, especially juxtaposed with our own non-celebrity. We failed to tell that story. Instead we told a much darker and more disturbing story. … We take full responsibility for what has happened, and we are truly sorry.”

The band’s statement went on to acknowledge that they’re aware they’ve “broken a bond of trust” and that they’re “equally disappointed” in themselves.

“After all is said and done, of course you should be mad at us,” the statement concluded. “We’re mad at us too.”

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