To say that successful YouTuber Logan Paul’s 2018 got off to a rocky start would be an understatement. While most of us were busy preparing to usher in the New Year, he was editing and adding the final touches to one of the most controversial videos in YouTube history.
Released on New Year’s Eve, Logan’s video of a suicide victim’s corpse in a notorious Japanese forest sent shockwaves around the globe.
The 22-year-old vlogger decided that it would be a fantastic idea to film a video in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, which is more commonly referred to as the “Suicide Forest”. In 2010 alone, 200 people attempted to take their own lives there. Fifty-four of them were successful.
Claiming that the intent was to create an entertaining piece of content based on it being haunted, Logan was shocked when he found a corpse hanging from a tree. Instead of stopping the camera there and then, he continued to record the incident.
Almost as soon as the video was uploaded, Logan was condemned for his decision to make the video in the first place – especially as much of his audience consists of young and impressionable children, many of whom could be distressed by seeing a suicide victim hanging from a tree.
And that’s not to mention the insensitivity which it showed towards the victim’s family and friends.
In his first televised interview since it took place, Logan immediately apologized in the wake of the backlash, claiming that he is “a good guy who made a bad decision”. YouTube subsequently cut all ties with him which, in the video below, he explains “hurt”:
When Logan first posted the video, he demonetized it so that he wouldn’t be able to profit from its views, but given his reputation for performing risky stunts for views in the past, he most likely knew that it would create traffic on his monetized content.
In addition to apologizing, Logan donated a million dollars to suicide prevention agencies and, three weeks after the controversial video was posted on January 24, he returned to YouTube with a vlog where he took an in-depth look at suicide prevention.