Corey Vidal

YouTuber. Director. Jedi Knight.
"Who's the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?"

An Open Letter to Sam Pepper


Hi Sam!

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.  As fellow YouTubers, we have much respect for others who put so much hard work into building their channel.  It’s not easy, and you should be proud!  That said, we’ve noticed that in your success, there has been a lack of respect in return…namely, for women and girls.

You may have noticed that your latest video “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” has garnered considerable negative attention.  In this video, you sexually violate a number of unsuspecting women on the street, many of whom are visibly confused and upset at being touched by you without permission.  One woman even says “I don’t like that!” while you proceed to laugh and touch her more.  In “How to Make Out with Strangers”, made a year ago, you pressure women on camera to make out with you - again, many of whom are visibly uncool with it.  Confused and caught off guard, they painfully follow through with your requests, clearly uncomfortable.  In “How to Pick Up Girls with a Lasso”, you physically restrain women on the street with lassos - many of whom look alarmed to be restrained by a stranger.

You’d probably be alarmed too, wouldn’t you?  Imagine someone on the street comes up and rubs their hand on your bottom, or a girl walks up to you with a camera and forces her mouth onto yours while you’re trying to figure out what’s going on.  Imagine walking down the alley alone, when a guy much larger than you physically restrains you with rope and pulls you toward him.  You probably wouldn’t like it, right?

People don’t like to be violated and they don’t like to see their friends and girlfriends be violated either (hence the group of men that tried to beat you up in the lasso video).  And yet, history suggests that perhaps you find this humorous.  It is very disturbing that we live in a world where the violation of women and girls’ bodies is not only funny, but profitable, and can garner considerable notoriety and views on YouTube.

We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop.  Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views.  Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable.  Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies.  While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women.  1 in 6 young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.

We realize that people make mistakes, and that sometimes it’s hard to see the ripple effect of one’s actions.  We really hope that you will take a step back and consider the power you have to be someone who makes the world a better place.  It’s not too late to make a change!  We invite you to join us in ending widespread bodily violation that takes place in so many forms all around in the world.

Thanks so much.

Laci GreenMeghan TonjesTyler OakleyTomSkaViHartALBRoss EverettMatt LiebermanMeg TurneyTom FlynnTyrannosaurus LexArielle ScarcellaDan at NerdCubedRachel WhitehurstHannah Witton, Jefferson Bethke, MusicalBethan, Kaleb Nation, Chris Thompson, Michael Buckley, Jared Oban, Liam Dryden, Sanne Vliegenthart, Bryarly Bishop, Nicola Foti, Chescaleigh, Grace Helbig, Wheezy Waiter, Morgan Paige, Nathan Z., MumboJumbo, Miles Jai, Adorian Deck, Alli Speed, Matthew Santoro, Jaclyn Glenn, Hank Green, Rosianna Rojas, Grayson, Taryn Southern, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Adam Hattan, Drew Monson, Josh Sundquist, Mamrie Hart, Strawburry17, Catie Wayne, Hannah Hart, Catrific, Connor Manning, Emily Graslie, Sarah Weichel, Jack Howard, Louise Sprinkleofglitter, Mr. Repzion, John Green, Rob Dyke, Dean Dobbs, Charlie McDonnell, Wil Wheaton, Mitch & Greg at AsapSCIENCE





I can’t lie, out of all of the YouTubers I watched as a teen, I still like Meghan Tonjes but she seems to be all buddy buddy with shitty ppl like John Green and Tyler Oakley, so has she done problematic things?

I’m friends with a lot of people. All of them have said or done problematic things publicly or privately because they are human beings. We fuck up. It’s in our nature. I fuck up daily, sometimes in ways I don’t see as fuck ups because my truth, my experience and my understanding are limited. Ive only had positive interactions with John Green and Tyler Oakley, two people who have always been incredibly supportive and loving to me. It’s hard to label people as “shitty people”. It’s subjective. Conflates who people intrinsically are with what we publicly interpret them to be, without personal knowledge of those actual people. We can disagree with each other’s work, methods of expression. We can critique that work, talk about why it’s problematic, why we take issue with it, what we think it says in the greater narrative. But, to label people who are working in a public sphere, who are charitable and work to make themselves better people as well as the lives of strangers as “shitty people”…it’s a tough one. 

Within all of our most intimate thoughts, writings, recordings, conversations we are all problematic and we should show the same kindness, respect and eagerness to teach and help to others as we would want ourselves. 

(via karenkavett)

The Nerdfighter Online Video Workshop


There are three important ingredients to a good video…the writing, the performance, and the editing. Now, of course, lots of videos have those things blend together…sometimes I write while I film and sometimes while I edit (deciding to put stuff on screen or cut things (cutting is a huge part of writing) or even to go back and shoot something new.)

But while I once upon a time showed you a video of me editing…I’ve never shared anything about my writing process or my shooting process. So I’m gonna open the book as part of a larger project. Let’s call it the Nerdfighter Online Video Workshop.

It comes in three parts:

Check out the prompts (and guide) on my WattPad, here. Write scripts and share them on WattPad using the appropriate tags. Whether or not you are writing in the workshop, feel free to thoughtfully and conscientiously critique submissions (which you can find by searching for the appropriate tags) using WattPad comments.


  1. A long boring video of me writing a script
  2. A bunch of Vlogbrothers and SciShow scripts
  3. The prompts at WattPad
  4. Other People’s scripts

Check out the scripts (particularly the unpublished Vlogbrothers and SciShow scripts) and film (and ideally edit) your performance. Of course we understand that your software and hardware aren’t necessarily going to be top notch. Phone videos encouraged! Upload your video and name it “NOVW PERFORMANCE VIDEO *USERNAME*” with your username in place of *USERNAME*.

Whether or not you are making a video for the workshop feel free to search YouTube for “NOVW PERFORMANCE VIDEO” and thoughtfully and conscientiously critique performances. 


  1. A video of me unedited…so you can see that vloggers don’t just rattle off their scripts perfectly the first time.
  2. Various Vlogbrothers and SciShow scripts
  3. Other People’s Performances

Download this unedited Vlogbrothers video (there are lots of ways to download YouTube videos, this one works well for me), edit it however you want…do literally whatever you want to it, and then upload it with the title “EDITEDCOMMENTSVIDEO *USERNAME*” where *USERNAME* is your username. 

Whether or not you are uploading an edited video, feel free to search for videos in the editing workshop and thoughtfully and conscientiously critique them.


  1. A video of me editing a video for an hour
  2. An un-edited Vlogbrothers video
  3. Other peoples edits

Yes, I will be looking at this stuff…though probably not for a while because I’m going to be traveling a bit over the next week or two (or three). I’m very excited to see what comes of this. Please be helpful and thoughtful and encouraging to each other. I hope this is interesting and useful to you (and also to me.)

Also, tag all related content novw here on Tumblr or on YouTube or Twitter or wherever.

I just watched read your blog post and watched your video, and for whatever it's worth, I'm really sorry for helping create an atmosphere that pressured you into publicly disclosing your experience. No excuses or justifications– it was shitty. No one should have to go through any of that. I hope you're doing okay. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help, and I'll try my best. x




Sorry it’s taken me awhile to reply, but this was something I needed to take a break from. I really appreciate your message. Thank you for saying that - you didn’t have to.

There was something I didn’t realize until after I told the people I live/work with what I told them. One of the people in ApprenticeA came to me and apologized, saying that any time we had talked about abuse, that it was probably very triggering for me. I hadn’t even realized that it was, but the second she said that, it opened my eyes. It’s hard for me to talk or hear about abuse, because it triggers conversations I don’t want to have. That doesn’t excuse me from talking about it, but yeah. It’s been a painful year. Things I didn’t want to face, or think I’d have to. Especially not publicly.

Truth be told, I did feel pressured… but I’m also wondering if maybe it’s going to work out for the better. My call to F.A.C.S. last month felt like a big step. Would I have made that call if it wasn’t for these issues being discussed? I’ve called F.A.C.S. a few times since, but I guess it takes a really long time to find and disclose my files. The waiting sucks. But once there’s updates, I’m going to vlog them and keep the conversation going.

Thanks for your patience with me.

i wanna be transparent with my followers on where i am with this dialogue, so i’m reblogging this here less to reply to corey’s answer and more just to. idk. acknowledge that i sent him this message?

for context, this message was sent the same day this post and this video went online. 

i felt like it was important for me, as a person, to acknowledge that the ~call-out~ culture i was (and still do) ascribe to can have repercussions as it did with corey. honestly, i still feel that the pros of that culture outweigh the cons, but i don’t want to pretend that it’s perfect. i obviously didn’t intend to trigger corey, or to at all pressure him into disclosing what’s obvs a personal/private – my intention was and is to support the women he affected – but functionally speaking, that was an effect i had, and that’s what i’m apologizing for.

…i dunno. this is probably problematic of me? i dunno. i’ve talked about it a bit in private with a few people, but more input on this is always appreciated. i do think it’s important, also, to acknowledge that corey has recognized and labeled his emotionally manipulative behavior w/r/t shannon, and also that no one has the ability to forgive him his behavior except the people he directly affected.


I’m genuinely starting to consider offering prizes to people who upload footage of women/gender-related panels at YouTube events…

Because there don’t seem to be any videos of the Gender Gap panel from Playlist Live this year or the Women on YouTube panel from SitC, and that’s such a shame.

Anyone going to the Women of YouTube screening/meetup at Buffer Festival willing to volunteer to film at least part of the meetup?

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