YouTube star Logan Paul has apologised after facing mass condemnation over sharing images of an apparent suicide victim in a video on his channel.
Paul, who has over 15 million subscribers on YouTube, many of whom are children, posted a video of a trip to Japan’s Aokigahara, which is also called "suicide forest" due to the high number of suicides that take place within the woods, in which he and his companions stumble what appears to be a body hanging from a tree.
The video, titled "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…" and allegedly began with viewer discretion warning, started with Paul telling viewers "This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted on this channel" and to"Buckle the fuck up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again."
According to The Verge, the video proceeded as follows:
Paul and his entourage are seen preparing to spend a night in the forest, showing off camping gear including “binoculars to see the ghosts” and “a football so we can have fun.” They troop into the woods, before the video cuts to footage of a body hanging from a rope under a tree, filmed at a distance. “Bro, did we just find a dead person in the suicide forest?” Paul asks.
The group’s guide phones the police while they approach the body, shouting “Yo, are you alive, are you fooling with us?” They film the apparent suicide victim up close, blurring his face but showing his hands, clothes, and abandoned bag. Paul then talks to the camera, saying: “Suicide is not a joke. Depression and mental illnesses are not a joke. We came here with an intent to focus on the haunted aspect of the forest. This just became very real.”
The group continue to stand around the body, filming one another’s reactions. Paul is seen struggling to suppress a laugh, saying “this was all going to be a joke, why did it become so real?” Back in the parking lot he films the emergency response crews, drinks sake, and says “that’s the life, this daily vlog life. Guys I said this in one of my first vlogs, I have chosen to entertain you guys every single day.”
Reaction to the video has been overwhelmingly negative, with many calling for YouTube to investigate or ban Paul from its service.
As somebody who lives in Japan, has Japanese family and has filmed a video in the suicide forest, the amount of disrespect Logan Paul showed in his video is honestly sickening.
No amount of demonetizing or "like if you feel sad" can excuse what he did.
Really disappointing :(
— Joey (@TheAn1meMan) January 2, 2018
I cannot believe logan Paul posted that video and filmed someone who committed suicide up close for his audience of children to watch. Fucking disgusting and completely in human ðŸ˜ zero respect shown in that video. I literally am so angry
— Daz Black (@daz_black) January 2, 2018
You’re 22 there’s no excuse
— Grayson Dolan (@GraysonDolan) January 2, 2018
i’m truly sickened by this logan paul situation. i lost my brother to suicide... my brother took his own life by hanging himself... how insensitive and sick can you be to film someone in that state ðŸ˜”
— mommy (@CorinnaKopf) January 2, 2018
logan paul exploiting a suicide victim in Japan to the tune of 6M+ views while youtube demonetizes students protesting in Iran is a perfect example of what a sociopathic garbage fire youtube has become. this industry has no soul left.
— Laci Green (@gogreen18) January 2, 2018
All eyes on you, @YouTube. What Logan Paul did was unacceptable and deserves decisive action. There is no place on YouTube for that kind of content.
— Meg Turney (@megturney) January 2, 2018
Just remember this. Before all the extended community outrage against Logan Paul’s “we found a dead body” video, there was a seemingly uncontested 550-600,000 likes on it.
His core audience doesn’t give a fuuuuuuck. Unless youtube does something, this doesn’t hurt him.
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 2, 2018
How dare you! You disgust me. I can't believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) January 2, 2018
Dear Logan Paul, you’re a sick, twisted, heartless little prick.
- The Internet. https://t.co/DrSIkwDBFM
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 2, 2018
Logan has since made an apology statement on Twitter, saying "This is a first for me".
"I've never faced criticism like this before, because I've never made a mistake like this before. I'm surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I'm still a human being. I can be wrong."
"I didn't do it for views," he continued. "I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the Internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That's never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention...I'm often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have and with great power comes great responsibility. For the first time in my life I'm regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won't happen again."
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
The apology hasn't gone down well either.
this is seriously the most narcissistic ego stroking sociopathic god complex 'apology' ever. https://t.co/jPdizgvDs6
— Bree (@breebunn) January 2, 2018
Logan Paul’s instinct to continue filming, continue editing, and continue uploading after filming a dead suicide victim shows just how corrupt he has become in the persuit of relevancy. You had many chances to turn back, dude. You chose this.
— Luke Cutforth ðŸŒŠâœ¨ (@LukeIsNotSexy) January 2, 2018
To all the people defending Logan Paul by saying that he didn’t make the thumbnail and he has a team of editors that edit and finalize the videos. That’s all the more reason the video shouldn’t have even been an option as content for his channel.
— Rebel in the Flesh (@Jade_thePoet) January 2, 2018
what Logan Paul did was just a mistake. he didn’t mean it. he didn’t mean to:
-laugh about it
-upload to his computer.
-upload to you tube.
— D (@allig4torsky_) January 2, 2018
I’m always for giving someone the benefit of the doubt, but after watching what Logan Paul filmed, edited, AND posted- I am shocked & disgusted at how ignorant someone can be on such a serious and sensitive topic. A text apology just won’t cut it for this âœŒðŸÂ?¼
— Michael Pavano (@michaelpavano) January 2, 2018
Paul's name is still trending globally on Twitter. and YouTube have not yet responded or commented on the controversy.
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