The YouTube star and content creator Logan Paul sparked outrage after he posted a video featuring a victim of suicide while visiting a forest in Japan. The 22-year-old and his friends were walking in Aokigahara — an infamous forest near Mt. Fuji known for its high rate of suicides — when they stumbled upon the body of a man hanging from a tree.
“This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel,” he says in the 15-minute vlog titled, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…”
In a video posted on Sunday, December 31st, Paul and his entourage filmed the victim in close-up shots, blurring his face. At one point, Paul is even seen laughing and cracking jokes about the deceased man.
The backlash to the video was fierce and swift, and Paul has since apologized via Twitter (the video itself has been taken down).
“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,” he continued.
Despite his apology, many have since called out the YouTube star for using suicide as a way to promote himself. Even celebrities like Aaron Paul and Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner shared their anger.
Meanwhile, others have called on YouTube to take action.
Regardless of what you believe YouTube should do in response to Paul’s actions, it’s clear that the video was wildly insensitive and never should have been shared, and we’re glad it was swiftly taken down.
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.