Update, 5/10/16: YACHT have released a video, downloadable now via PornHub and The Pirate Bay. The download was made available on Tuesday afternoon following their announcement on Facebook Monday afternoon that a personal "sex tape" had been stolen from the band and uploaded to the internet.
Suggestions that the band had faked the incident began from a source who spoke to Jezebel and a detailed analysis of the band's past media antics by Thump. A Twitter search reveals that the only person who claims to have seen the video is artist Miranda July. Comedians Kate Berlant and Eric Wareheim tweeted support to the band on Monday, suggesting a coordinated effort—Berlant's tweet has since been deleted. Nick Thorburn of Islands, who also deleted a tweet which featured a screencap from their purported "sex tape," posted on Tuesday that he was approached “two days ago” by the band to help promote the video, but wrote that he was not aware of their plans to “portray themselves as victims.”
On Tuesday, Jezebel revealed that YACHT contacted Gawker Media on April 6 and informed them that the band would be faking a sex tape leak, to promote a new song. From their email, written by the band's Claire Evans:
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.
Read the band’s Tuesday afternoon statement in full below. In it, they claimed their prank did not treat harassment as unimportant, saying, “We never make light of victims of any form of sexual abuse.” They called the hoax “a project that allowed us to play with science fiction, the attention economy, click bait journalism, and celebrity sex tapes all at once,” and said, “we will continue to work very hard to produce work that engages and responds to you.”
YACHT initially called the leak an “exploitation” and asked their fans not to view the tape. “Our hope is that you fundamentally understand that choice and you choose not to view a private act that was inadvertently made public," they wrote. But soon after their announcement, the band decided to officially sell the video for $5. It can be purchased at fuck.teamyacht.com, although demand seems to have crashed the site for the moment.
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. So we’re asking you one thing: if you feel like you 100% have to see this tape, don’t stream it on some tube site, or download a torrent. Instead, we beg of you to download the video, Louis C.K.-style, directly from us.
The FADER reached out to YACHT for comment, and on Tuesday morning a publicist for the band told The FADER in an email: “No comment from YACHT on the news yesterday, but keep an eye on socials today.”