On the 31ST December of 2017, YouTuber Logan Paul posted a video of him vlogging in the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji, famously known as the Suicide forest, as it is a frequent site of suicides. The video starts with Logan explaining how they were about to take a tour of the forest and see if they could find anything haunting or ghastly there, focusing on the “haunted aspect of the forest.” However, the major turn took place when they discovered a dead body of a man who seemed to have committed suicide in the place not a very long time ago since the body was yet not discovered or decayed. Even though the face of the body was blurred out in the video, Logan still seemed to have recorded the body and post it online. He and his friends shared a talk about suicide and Logan let out a nervous laugh, which was followed up by his friends’, which triggered many of his fans. Many wrote in the comments that the video was “disrespectful” and “disgusting” as Paul had no right in displaying a dead body of a man without the consent of authority or the family of the victim. A huge rage has been stirred on the internet ever since the video came out and a lot of people have called out the YouTube star for his actions. YouTube later took down the video but fans from all over the world have commented and made a petition for YouTube to take down the channel of the YouTuber which currently has more than 15 million subscribers. Over 45,000 people have signed the petition till now.
However, Paul later seemed to have realized his mistake and took on to his twitter account to share a video of him apologizing for his mistakes. “I have made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment, and I don’t expect to be forgiven,” he said. “I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through. There’s a lot of things I should have done differently, but I didn’t,” he continued. “I’m ashamed of myself. I’m disappointed in myself,” Paul added. He later posted another written note on his account, sharing his misdeeds, captioning “Dear Internet” on top.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) 2 January 2018
The video has left a huge impact on the internet and has raised questions from many people around the world. Some people suggested that suicide is a huge and severe problem in Japan and needs much attention and be talked about. One native tweeted saying “Even if we try to sweep it under the rug, it doesn’t change the fact that Japan is a nation that is prominent for suicides where 20,000 to 30,000 people commit suicide every year.”
However, many of the fans were outraged by Logan Paul’s actions and called him “stupid” and “immature” and stated that he was no different from his younger brother Jake Paul, who is known to have even more scandals against racial slurs, bullying amongst others.
@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) 2 January 2018
One Japanese user shared a tweet saying “Logan Paul should know I had friends that died in Aokigahara, in that forest. He is mocking me, my country, and my culture!”
Many of Paul’s supporters have insisted that the YouTuber should be forgiven for what he did and said as people make mistakes. However, Paul himself doesn’t seem to take this as correct and has later posted a written apology on twitter where he wrote “For my fans who are defending my actions- please don’t. They do not deserve to be defended.” He also said he wanted to “make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity”, by raising awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
It’s only about time that the case might come to a conclusion. However, the damage that has been done cannot be ignored or forgotten. Since the star seems to have a much greater global reach and a fanbase of young teenagers, it is much expected of him to act more maturely and post content more wisely. However, it’s considerable to an extent that he finally apologized for his mistakes and it can be hoped that he takes more precautions in the future and share videos that are less sensitive and negative.