YouTube star Logan Paul issued an apology on Sunday, January 1, after posting a video earlier that day showing the body of an apparent suicide victim hanging from a tree in Japan.
“Where do I begin . . . Let’s start with this — I’m sorry,” wrote the 22-year-old Internet celebrity, who boasts more than 15 million subscribers. “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 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.”
Paul made the discovery while walking with friends in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, where dozens of people take their lives every year. In the clip, a member of the group reportedly was heard stating that he didn’t “feel good” to which Paul replied, “What, you never stand next to a dead guy?” Then he laughed.
Paul’s controversial video — which was titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest . . .,” received millions of views before it removed following backlash on social media.
“Dear @LoganPaul, How dare you! You disgust me! 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,” wrote Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul. Added fellow YouTube celebrity Kandee Johnson: RETWEET THIS FOR @YouTube to make a change. YouTube CANNOT allow disgusting, horrifying content like what Logan Paul did. He not only used the dead suicide victim’s body in his thumbnail, but zooms in on the victim’s hands & pockets & makes heartless jokes. This is unacceptable!”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline