YouTube Star Logan Paul Apologizes for Suicide Forest Video in New Vlog

YouTube Star Logan Paul Apologizes for Suicide Forest Video in New Vlog

By David Konow 01/31/18

Paul also promised to donate $1 million to suicide prevention organizations, but some people question whether he is genuinely sorry or if this is just damage control.

Image: 
Logan Paul from the back.
Logan Paul at the Teen Choice Awards 2017 in Los Angeles, CA Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Logan Paul, YouTube celebrity and “vlogger,” stirred up a great deal of controversy when he posted a video titled, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest.” In the video, Paul and friends make fun of a body hanging from a tree in the Aokigahara Forest, located in Mt. Fuji, Japan, where many have traveled to ultimately end their lives. “Yo, are you alive?” Paul yelled out at the corpse. “Are you fucking with us?”

Paul posted this vlog on December 31, and by the first day of 2018, reactions to the video were swift and fierce. One of the many enraged responses to the video said, “That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.” 

This video, which got Logan suspended from YouTube, was among a series of vlogs that documented Logan's recent trip to Japan. The 22-year-old vlogger shamelessly badgers the Japanese locals with his "playful" antics, seemingly unaware of the disrespectful tone of his actions.

Now, as NPR reports, Paul has returned to YouTube after a three-week hiatus, posting a new video in which he tries to atone for his insensitive post by promoting suicide awareness and prevention.

“I think as a society, as human beings, we just have to be more compassionate,” Paul said. “And that includes me too.” 

The video begins with statistics: “About 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide every year. One person every 40 seconds takes their own life.” 

In the video with Paul is Kevin Hines, who miraculously survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge at 19 years old. Hines now speaks out about suicide prevention, and as he said in the video, “For every one person that dies by suicide, there’s 287 other people that think seriously about it but don’t. Those are stories that have not been told. If we’ve told stories about people who’ve gotten through it, as opposed to one that didn’t, imagine what kind of influence we’d have.” 

Paul also promised in the video to give $1 million to suicide prevention organizations, but some have questioned whether he is genuinely sorry or if this is simply well-orchestrated damage control.

As actor Jimmy Wong railed on Twitter, “Logan Paul finally gave the world a unifying reason so we could all rally against him. His vlog also showed us a very messed up & privileged kid with far too much influence and little wisdom to go with it. Thus, his suicide awareness video is a BANDAID on a BROKEN BONE.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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