Two University of Oregon students have been awarded a Peabody for their 25 second video that addresses sexual assault. It’s the first time a viral video has been given the prize which recognizes storytelling in media.
U of O student Samantha Stendal made the video with her friend Aaron Blanton. Stendal says the idea came during media coverage of the Steubenville rape trial last year. She felt the victim was being blamed because she had been drinking.
Stendal:“I really just wanted to make a video that talked about, what should we be doing to the people that are in vulnerable situations? Not what the person should be doing better. And how should we be treating one another with respect?”
In the piece, titled “A needed response” a young man is speaking into the camera. Behind him a girl appears to be sleeping.
“Hey bros. Check who passed out on the couch. Guess what I’m going to do to her.”
He proceeds to put a pillow under her head and cover her with a blanket.
“Real men treat women with respect.”
The video was originally posted on youtube then to Upworthy.com, where it went viral. It’s been viewed more than 3 million times. Stendal and Blanton are among 46 Peabody recipients. They include Breaking Bad, House of Cards and NPR’s Michele Norris, for the Race Card Project.