YouTube star Logan Paul has a past of posting “wild” and “irrational” videos onto his channel. But the footage he gathered while vlogging in a foreign country has reached a new level of audacity and enraged the internet community more than ever before.
The video was based on Paul and his team of photographers flying to Japan to visit the infamous Suicide Forest. It’s known as the place where many locals go to take their lives. Any people who live near the forest know to keep away from it because of its reputation and the possibility that they may encounter a dead body. Paul and his team most likely knew this information since they had a guide with them on their trip, so they knew what they were going into. On top of this, they were warned to not intentionally stray off the path, but chose to anyway. Inevitably, this intentional disregard led to them encountering a hanging corpse.
But Logan didn’t decide to be sensible and report the body to officials so it could be handled with respect and professionalism. He decided, in that moment, that the best action to take would be to record the poor man and finally upload the gruesome imagery onto a platform where millions of young people watch his videos daily. The backlash he received should have been expected, considering that he was actually willing to put such insolent actions on display for his viewers. Many people flocked to Twitter to give their opinion on the matter, with some celebrities calling him out on his blatant error. Here’s an outlook from one of our high school juniors:
“I’ve never been a fan of Paul, but as soon as I heard about the Suicide Forest video (and saw part of his Japan Vlogs), I was appalled (or a-paul-ed heh heh). I feel like Youtube had been too lax, and he needs to be banned indefinitely from posting videos online. Most of his fans are people my age and younger, and young people need better role models in life.”
After the storm had subsided a bit, Logan Paul released two apologies: one written in his phone’s memo and posted to Twitter, and another video posted on Youtube. Many people went head to head on the issue of his apology either being a lazy attempt to calm the criticism or legitimate guilt on behalf of his actions. I side with the former argument since, considering his past, all Logan really cares about is attention (good or bad) since it ultimately leads to views. And in the YouTube community, views mean money.
He’s recently come out with a new video titled, Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow. It has a very different approach from his other videos, probably in an attempt to make him seem more professional and sincere. In the video he addresses how he’s trying to better inform himself of the ins and outs of suicide and even has a special guest who was a survivor and travels the world telling his courageous story. I understand that he wants to better raise awareness of something he shed a very negative light upon, but it also seems like he’s being disingenuous and merely wants to save face and gain back some level of trust from the internet, YouTube, and its community. I suppose time will only be the telling factor in this game of truth or trickster.
[Update: After this article was written, news circulated that Paul’s ad revenue was cut off after posting a video in which he tasered dead rats. He’s also being sued by Maverick Apparel for ruining the company’s image and costing them millions. Looks like all speculations have been answered and Paul has officially lost all merit.]