Japanese Police May Want to Speak With Logan Paul After 'Suicide Forest' Video
Japanese police have indicated that they may want to speak to besieged YouTube star Logan Paul after he encountered a body in the country's so-called "suicide forest."
Paul has faced mounting criticism in the wake of the video he posted, and later took down, of a body in Aokigahara forest.
Masaki Ito, spokesman for the Yamanashi prefectural police, told The Associated Press that Paul was under no legal obligation to report the body "but police were interested in talking to Paul as a suicide may be involved."
Meanwhile, Paul has stepped away from his YouTube channel, which boasts some 15 million subscribers, to "reflect."
"Taking time to reflect no vlog for now see you soon," Paul tweeted Wednesday.
Paul's hiatus comes after a Change.org petition urging YouTube to delete his channel continues to gain signatures. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 130,000 people had signed.
Video of the visit to Japan's Aokigahara forest, a well-known destination for people looking to end their own lives, was deleted after Paul was assailed online for his decision to post the video and for his on-camera behavior after stumbling upon the person hanging from a tree.
Before it was deleted, however, the video was viewed some six million times.
"Logan Paul has uploaded a vlog today of him going up to a body in Japan's suicide forest, a body of a hanging man," the creator of the Change.org petition, who is from Columbus, Ohio, wrote. "All he did was blur the deceased man's face out. He got close to the body and told the camera how the skin was 'blue' while showing the skin.
In one of two apologies, 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 his followers.
As criticism against him grew — and as many called for his channel's removal, including his fellow YouTube stars — Paul posted an emotional video apology on 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."