Early on Tuesday, a video surfaced via Tumblr (and then showed up on YouTube before being swiftly deleted) which appeared to show 19-year-old Vine star Carter Reynolds pressuring his former 16-year-old girlfriend (16 according to Gawker; 17 according to the Irish Independent) Maggie Lindemann to perform oral sex on him. Here's the description via Gawker:
In the video, which appeared uncensored on a Mexican blogger’s Tumblr and has been uploaded to YouTube sans exposed penis (Update: YouTube has removed the video), a man (allegedly Reynolds) can be heard requesting a blowjob (and exposing his erect penis) to an uncomfortable Lindemann, who repeatedly states that she’s “uncomfortable” with the situation.
“This makes me so uncomfortable,” Lindemann says, “I’m really uncomfortable.” The man chants “Do it!” and says Lindemann should “pretend nothing’s there.” Lindemann replies “I don’t know if I can...I don’t think I can” while the man masturbates and repeats “oh my gosh, Maggie.” The video ends there.
Words like "reported" and "supposedly" were tossed around until Reynolds started directly addressing the situation on Twitter, eventually posting what amounts to a half-apology, half-denial letter:
As Fusion notes, the issue here — and one Reynolds breezed over in his Twitter apology — is the blatant disregard for the importance of consent. Of course, consent is not implied by statements like "This makes me so uncomfortable" or "I'm really uncomfortable." If the leaked video depicted a truly consensual act between two willing participants, then we'd all be having a very different conversation — namely "Who cares?" Amassing 2.31 million Twitter followers, Reynolds had the chance to truly own his actions and protect Lindemann from potential victim-shaming. Instead, he took the predictable route of deflection. For the record, Carter: