YouTube Star Logan Paul Apologizes for Japan 'Suicide Forest' Video That Shows Dead Body
A YouTube star has come under fire after posting a video that reportedly showed a suicide victim's body.
Logan Paul apologized Monday for posting a video that showed the body hanging from a tree in the Aokigahara forest, which is located near Mount Fuji.
The forest has been known for years as a destination for those who intend to end their lives, but Paul's handling of the sensitive issue has left some critics furious.
In the video, titled "We Found a Dead Body in Japan's Suicide Forest," Paul tells his 15 million followers to "buckle up!" for what he's "pretty sure that this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever."
Paul shouts, "Yo, are you alive?" toward the body. The person's face was blurred.
In his apology, Paul wrote that he "intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention."
"I was misguided by the shock and awe, as portrayed in the video," Paul told followers.
The video is no longer on Paul's YouTube page, but was reportedly viewed more than 6 million times before it was taken down.
Among Paul's most prominent critics was fellow YouTuber Anna Akana.
"When my brother found my sister’s body, he screamed with horror & confusion & grief & tried to save her," Akana tweeted at Paul. "That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness."
Popular YouTube sex educator Laci Green took a more pointed stance, criticizing Paul while faulting the YouTube's culture as a whole.
"Logan paul exploiting a suicide victim in Japan to the tune of 6M+ views while youtube demonetizes students protesting in Iran is a perfect example of what a sociopathic garbage fire youtube has become. this industry has no soul left. byeee," Green tweeted.
In his apology, Paul insisted he did not include the body as a way to bolster his viewership.
"I didn't do it for views," Paul said. "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."
As criticism against him grew louder and more pointed--and as some began to call for his channel's removal--Paul posted an emotional video apology to Twitter.
"I had a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment," Paul said. "I don't expect to be forgiven, I'm simply here to apologize."
In an apparent response to those who took offense to Paul's uncomfortable laughter in the video after he found the body.
"The actions you saw on tape were raw, unfiltered. None of us knew how to react," he said. "I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down... There's a lot of things I should have done different, but I didn't. And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry."