On January 2nd, 2018 YouTuber Logan Paul uploaded a video where he discovers a dead body hanging in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, also known as the “suicide forest.” His video was met was swift and harsh commentary from every corner of the internet, with many calling the video vulgar, offensive, cruel, and reckless. However, Chrissy Teigen took an alternate stance on the Paul controversy, and some people aren’t happy with her comments.
In the aftermath of the video, people called for Paul’s YouTube account to be canceled or, at very least, for the video giant to pull his ability to monetize his videos. Teigen, however, does not agree with “cancel culture” and believes that “ethical mistakes” do not merit a campaign to end someone’s career.
“Re: Logan Paul, something I always think about is when people make…ethical mistakes, as in, not-illegal, should we really be trying I ruin their lives and end their careers or accept the apology, personally make a choice to stop watching, and move on,” Teigen wrote on Twitter. “An example I have is with a certain clothing company. Years ago the designers said things i personally found horrible about IVF children. I made the choice to simply…never wear or purchase again instead of trying to ‘end them.’ Oh I’m not saying what he did wasn’t sick and stupid and his videos aren’t or haven’t been stupid, I’m saying…a lot of you don’t know what it’s like to have a campaign to end your entire being.”
Logan has since released a thin apology, and many feel like Teigen chose the wrong instance to address “cancel culture.”
It feels as if Teigen’s perspective might be colored by her own experiences with online bullying, specifically the bizarre and frightening “pizzagate” incident. A group of alt-right conspiracy theorists has somehow roped Teigen into a discredited sex trafficking conspiracy theory. As one Twitter user pointed out — what Teigen was accused of is not the same as what Paul actually did.
At the end of the day, Teigen is more than aware that she chose the wrong YouTuber to defend against takedown culture.
One good thing has come of this: We’re now talking about YouTube culture, online bullying, and white male privilege, and hopefully these conversations move into a more productive arena. If you or anyone you know is dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can reach The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. You are never alone.