YouTube “celebrity” Logan Paul is under fire after his decision to post a disturbing video online from a trip to Aokigahara in Japan, also known as “suicide forest.”
In the video, Paul comes across an apparent suicide victim hanging from a tree.
Instead of immediately cutting the video and making the rational decision not to share it, he continued to film along with some friends as they laughed at the dead body before trying to turn the video into a “suicide awareness” bit.
Paul then edited and uploaded the video, which has since been removed.
“Suicide is not a joke,” Paul said in the video. “Depression and mental illnesses are not a joke. We came here with an intent to focus on the ‘haunted’ aspect of the forest.”
Paul has since issued an apology which reads in part:
“I’m sorry. 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,.
“I didn’t do it for views. I did 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 and while I thought ‘if this video saves just ONE life, it’ll be worth it’. I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video. I still am.”
But the damage was already done.
A number of celebrities and Twitter users shared their disappointment and disgust towards Paul for his video.
There have since been calls to have YouTube permanently ban Logan Paul and shut down his account.
YouTube issued the following statement on the matter.