YouTube star Logan Paul went into a notorious “Suicide Forest” looking for a dead person, and when he found one, he used footage of the unfortunate victim as “click bait” for his popular internet show. Outrage ensued, and Paul has since issued an apology, but social media experts predict that the 22-year-old vlogger’s career is likely over… or is it?
Paul’s original video, titled, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…”, was posted as part of his “Tokyo Adventures” series. The video, which featured his crew’s visit to Japan’s Aokigahara forest on the northwestern flank of Mount Fuji, contained footage of a person who had apparently died by suicide, with their face blurred. The forest’s name translates to the “Sea of Trees”, but the area is known internationally as the “Suicide Forest,” because it is the site of hundreds of suicides every year.
“This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel,” Paul said prior to showing the video. “I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history, because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever. Now with that said: Buckle the fuck up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again!”
After Paul posted the video, which reached roughly 15 million YouTube subscribers, he received immediate backlash for his insensitivity towards the subject of suicide, according to New York Magazine. Now, users are calling for Paul to be banned.
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
@LoganPaul You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your “apology” is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did.
— Sophie Turner (@SophieT) January 2, 2018
Suicide is serious. People have lost loved ones, idols, hero’s, fans to suicide. Filming a video and mocking a victim is not raising suicide awareness. Laughing at the body of a poor depressed soul. I can’t believe the disrespect of the victim, their family, and your YOUNG fans.
— Grayson Dolan (@GraysonDolan) 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
Paul quickly moved to apologize for the video, claiming, “I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before.”
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
Clearly shocked by the negative reaction, Paul claimed that he had intended to create awareness with his video. “I didn’t do it for views. 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,” he said.