Winner 2013

A Needed Response

Samantha Stendal, Aaron Blanton

The first viral video to be honored with a Peabody Award, A Needed Response grew out of two University of Oregon students’ outrage upon watching news coverage of the Steubenville, Ohio, rape sentencing that bemoaned the perpetrators’ loss of their promising athletic careers while ignoring the 16-year-old girl they had drugged and assaulted. Samantha Stendal and Aaron Blanton conceived, staged and shot a 26-second video that emphatically rejects the idea that rape is ever excusable. Short, simple and spot-on, it’s an ingenious public-service message targeting college age viewers. Stendal and Blanton shared their video on Upworthy’s Facebook page. Within 48 hours, the video surpassed 1 million views, an astonishing figure that doubled, tripled and continued to grow as more and more people shared it and debated its take on masculinity and morality. For making a unforgettable, undeniable statement about rape culture and sharing it with the world via social media, A Needed Response receives a Peabody Award.


Producers: Samantha Stendal, Aaron Blanton. Writer: Samantha Stendal. Talent: Kelsey Jones, Justin Rabier-Gotchall.