Youtuber Logan Paul, known for his stunts and prank videos is under fire from Internet users and even his fellow Youtubers after he put up a video last Monday that showed an apparent suicide victim in the Japanese forest of Aokigahara.
Posted over the weekend, the video showed Paul and some friends enter the forest, which is in the foothills of Mt. Fuji. It gets its moniker of ‘suicide forest’ for the many people who go tAhere to commit suicide, as the forest is very dense and going off the designated path makes it difficult for rescuers to comb through area.
They then spot an apparent dead body of a man from an apparent suicide, and questionably begin filming around it, cracking jokes and even doing a panoramic shot.
While Paul has taken it down on Monday, it reached a couple hundred thousand views and worryingly, Paul’s audience is composed mainly of children aged between 7 to 15.
Understandably, the Internet was outraged.
that boy logan paul said he wasnt thinking…. you know how much thinking go into going to film a video,filming a video then, exporting the video, then looking over clips, then editing the video, then reviewing the video, uploading it then titling it
— Introducing…The Coziest boy ever..CozyBoy Meech (@meechonmars) January 2, 2018
Logan Paul’s “suicide forest” video is where YouTube culture has always been headed https://t.co/iHD1D5nCjI
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 3, 2018
Can’t stop thinking about the Logan Paul video, what it means for the young people who watch shows like these, and YouTube’s weak, robotic response. All of it adds up to a bad situation likely getting worse in the future.
— Andrew Reiner (@Andrew_Reiner) January 3, 2018
No you shouldn’t forgive Logan Paul.
News flash, he was a disrespectful, immature, selfish asshole before this. He may have taken that video down but he still has plenty of vlogs up of him acting like a total asshat in Japan, the big surprise was that even a dead body didn’t –
— Gigguk (@GiggukAZ) January 3, 2018
Right rant time:
Logan Paul didn’t ‘fuck up’.
He knew exactly what he was posting.
He knew that he was posting a video of someone who chose to end their life.
He knows that his main audience is children.
— loz 🕸 (@laurenmurrelll) January 3, 2018
Paul issued a written apology at first via his Twitter account on January 1:
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
But many argue it wasn’t much of an apology at all, with Paul fully having the time between editing and publishing the video to think about how deep and serious the issue of suicide is, especially in a country like Japan where mental illnesses are often shunned.
Paul then released an apology video on his Youtube channel the next day, on January 2.
So sorry. pic.twitter.com/JkYXzYsrLX
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
But again, he seemed to miss the mark in sincerity.
Logan Paul the type of dude to plug his merch in the tags of an apology video about recording a suicide.
Let it sink in.
LET THAT SINK IN. pic.twitter.com/vhX417Maab
— NetNobody (@NetNobody) January 3, 2018
“Logan Paul says Suicide Video was “Huge Mistake””
It’s only a HUGE MISTAKE because now it’s effecting him personally, he’s losing subs, he’s losing fans, credibility, his shit and sponsors are being pulled. He doesn’t feel bad for you, or what he did, he feels bad for himself.
— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) January 3, 2018
But in fairness to Paul, he does call on his fans to not defend him and his actions.
Here’s the thing though, too. Aokigahara is a Japanese park that has a designated path for visitors, exactly for the reason that nobody strays from it in the hopes of visitors or locals to not go into unmarked paths where they might stumble upon the unfortunate, and often traumatic, evidence of people who go there to commit suicide.
Along the path are signs too encouraging anyone who might be intending suicide to think about their loved ones, with contact numbers to the Japanese Suicide Prevention Hotline.
They also have rangers, mostly locals who know the area well, who comb the area regularly in the hopes of spotting someone who went off the path and talk them out of their suicide plans, as explained in this video.
So it’s difficult really to believe the sincerity of someone who says they ‘didn’t know how to act’ after spotting something they went off the designated path for, armed to the teeth with film gear, and full of intention after hearing about the unfortunate reputation of the place.