YouTube personality Logan Paul is apologizing after facing outrage over a controversial video shared to his page that appeared to show the body of an alleged suicide victim in Japan

By Dave Quinn
January 02, 2018 10:10 AM
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YouTube personality Logan Paul is apologizing after facing outrage over a controversial video shared to his page that appeared to show the body of an alleged suicide victim in Japan.

“I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment, and I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize,” he said in a video tweeted Tuesday morning. “What we came across that day in the woods was obviously unplanned, and the reactions you saw on tape were raw. They were unfiltered. None of us knew how to react or how to feel. I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down.”

The 22-year-old social media star — who boasts 15 million followers on YouTube and appeared on a recent episode of Top Chef — came under fire Sunday for posting a graphic video filmed in Aokigahara, a forest at Mount Fuji’s base that is often referred to as “suicide forest” due to the high number of suicides that occur there.

Titled “We found a dead boy in the Japanese Suicide Forest,” the since-deleted 15-minute clip reportedly began with an intro from Paul boasting about the disturbing content before showing footage of what appeared to be a dead body with its face blurred out.

Logan Paul
| Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty

“This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel,” Paul said, New York Magazine reported. “I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever. Now with that said: Buckle the f— up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again!”

While Paul later made reference to the seriousness of suicide, depression and mental illness in his video — even linking to the American Society for Suicide Prevention in the clip’s description — criticism from his audience, who are mostly teens, came swiftly, many asking YouTube to suspend his account.

“Suicide is not a joke. Suicide is not a way to gain views. Suicide is not to be taken lightly. What Logan Paul did is not acceptable,” one user wrote. “If you’re struggling, please take your health seriously and please seek help. Your life is worth so much. You are worth so much.”

Celebrities like Aaron Paul and Sophie Turner also spoke out, as did Paul’s fellow YouTubers.

“You disgust me,” Breaking Bad star Paul said. “I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.”

“You’re an idiot,” added Turner, of Game of Thrones fame. “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.”

Paul first issued apology to his 3.9 million Twitter followers on Monday, claiming the intention of his video was to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

“Let’s start with this — I’m sorry,” he wrote. “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 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,” he continued. “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.”

He ended his apology by asking his fans to understand his mistake, and assuring them it wouldn’t happen again.

“I do this s— every day. I’ve made a 15 minute TV show EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 460+ days. One may understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment without fully weighing the possible ramifications,” he said.

The statement concluded: “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. I love everyone. I believe in people. I’m out here. Peace.”

In his video apology Tuesday, he added, “I want to apologize to the victim and his family. For my fans who are defending my actions, please don’t. They do not deserve to be defended.”

RELATED VIDEO: How Many People Live There?! Inside Jake Paul’s Hollywood Home

This isn’t the first time a member of the Paul family has fallen under controversy. Logan’s younger brother Jake Paul made headlines over the summer when his neighbors began complaining about the noise and dangers created by him and his team of digital creators, all of whom shared his home in West Hollywood.

In the wake of the drama, the former Vine star turned musician was let go from his Disney Channel show, Bizaardvark.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).