Paul, brother of fellow vlogger Jake, was videoing his trip to Japan’s “suicide forest.”
Lars Brandle reports: YouTube star Logan Paul has apologized after facing an avalanche of criticism for sharing the image of a suicide victim.
He posted the macabre clip filmed on location in Japan’s Aokigahara, also known as the “suicide forest” due to the high number of suicides that take place within the woods.
The controversy is the latest backlash to hit a YouTube star for inappropriate content. Last February, Disney’s Maker Studios severed ties with YouTube star PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, after he released a series of anti-Semitic posts to his 53 million subscribers. Paul’s brother Jake was fired by the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark following a public nuisance incident.
“Let’s start with this — I’m sorry,” Paul explained in a follow-up post to his 3.9 million Twitter followers. “This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before. I’m surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I’m still a human being. I can be wrong.”
He continued, “I didn’t do it for views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the Internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention…I’m often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have, and with great power comes great responsibility. For the first time in my life I’m regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won’t happen again.”
In the now-removed vlog, Paul and several companions stumble upon what appears to be the hanging body of man. The 22-year-old Paul appears to linger at the grim scene as he shares his thoughts on finding a corpse. “Did we just find a dead person in the suicide forest, hanging?” he says. In another sequence, Paul notes the situation was “a first for me” and that it was “most real vlog I’ve made.”
Later, he attempts to drive home the severity of the situation. “Suicide is not a joke,” he comments, adding … (read more)
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Japanese Twitter reacts to Logan Paul’s ‘Japanese Suicide Forest’ video
Casey Baseel reports: Video showing body of man who committed suicide in Aokigahara forest was only up for a day, but the backlash is likely to last much longer.
During a visit to Japan, American vlogger Logan Paul and his crew had a plan to camp overnight in Aokigahara, a lush forest that spreads out from the base of Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture. However, while Aokigahara is trying to establish itself as a sightseeing destination for nature lovers, its primary image is as one of the most common spots for suicide in Japan.
While hiking through the woods, Paul came across the hanging body of a man who had apparently committed suicide, and while he did blur the man’s face, he uploaded a video showing the body to YouTube on December 31, giving it the title “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…”
▼ Clips from the now-deleted YouTube video
Logan Paul and his friends laughing and smiling after discovering a dead body pic.twitter.com/azY7EAiuC4
— JhbTeam (@JhbTeam) January 2, 2018
The video quickly racked up millions of views, but also drew heavy criticism, prompting Paul to take it down on January 1, and issue a pair of apologies, one written and one in video form, on January 2.
The now-deleted Aokigahara video was not monetized, and began with a message imploring those considering suicide to seek help. “I didn’t do it for the views,”Paul says of the video in his written apology. “I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.” However, those sentiments don’t seem to mesh with some of the Aokigahara video’s content, such as when Paul chuckles and asks “What, you never stand next to a dead guy?” when one of his travel companions says he “doesn’t feel good” after discovering the body.
Also odd are Paul’s in-video statements that “this was supposed to be a fun vlog”and “we came here with an intent to focus on the haunted aspect of the forest, this just became very real and obviously a lot of people are going through a lot of s— in their lives.” While finding a dead body doesn’t seem to have been part of the initial plan for the video, nor something Paul seems to have expected would actually happen, the bare-minimum amount of prior research required to find out that Aokigahara is a scary place will also reveal that suicides continue to happen frequently within the forest, and implying that the issue just became “real” once you actually stumble upon a dead body is pretty tone-deaf, as is walking into the area expecting to make a “fun” video that plays off the area’s ongoing status as a place where distraught individuals choose to end their lives.
Perhaps because the video was both uploaded and deleted during Japan’s New Year’s holiday period, or maybe because … (read more)