Therapi TV episode pulled following date-rape “joke”

The latest episode of ‘Therapi TV’, a new student-led marketing venture by Aberystwyth Students’ Union to promote the Wednesday night event, has been pulled from YouTube by the Union President following complaints about a date-rape “chat up line” which was featured.

The promotional video features the following conversation between the presenter and an unidentified student: “So right mate, what’s your best chat up line?” “My best chat up line is – have you my love, tried Rohypnol? You have now.”


Students’ Union President Ben Meakin has issued a statement apologising for the fact that the students involved and Kirk Holland, the Union’s new Entertainments Co-ordinator, had not been made aware of the Union’s “Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harrassment” policy.  In the statement Meakin says:  “We are in the process of rectifying these issues and we do not condone jokes which glorify such horrendous issues as Rohypnol use.”

It is unclear why a Union staff member had not screened the video before it was uploaded and publicised. Meakin has vouched to “personally vet all videos before publishing to make sure they are not derogatory of offensive to any students”. He has said that the Union will be writing a “strict” code of conduct for productions such as Therapi TV.

NUS Wales Women’s Officer Rhiannon Hedge commented on Therapi TV saying: “The deeply worrying content of some of these videos is yet another example of the self-titled ‘lad culture’ of demeaning and undermining women that is becoming more embedded in campus life in the UK everyday.

“1 in 3 women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes, and undermining victims by joking about their experiences does nothing to make them feel safe and empowered on their campus. This kind of humour helps perpetrators of rape feel at ease and assured that the victims they’ve left behind will never be taken seriously, and NUS Wales commends the Students’ Union for taking a firm stance in ensuring this kind of material is never produced in its name again.

“The Union’s policies on sexual harassment and discrimination are the right way forward for a campus where students’ rights to safety and respect are recognised and promoted and I look forward to working with them to keep these issues on the agenda.”

Students’ Union Sustainability and Ethics Officer and NUS Wales Women’s Committee member Bridie Sedgebeer said: “The glamourisation of sexual assault by a Union event and its publicity is unacceptable. To think that these videos were edited and it was decided that a joke about men using a date rape drug was acceptable content, when 25% of women in the UK will be raped in their lifetime, is vile.”

Kirk Holland, Entertainments Co-ordinator, has released a statement on the matter in which he says: ” In light of this and to ensure it does not happen again, we are in process of writing guidelines for all Union event film crews and Ben Meakin and myself will both personally vet any promotional video before it is made public to ensure it falls within the Union’s guidelines. I sincerely apologise to anyone this may have caused offence to, and hope this can be a lesson learned for all involved. ‘

The students who produced the videos have yet to comment.