YouTuber Logan Paul is receiving a slew of backlash after posting graphic footage of a deceased body he found in Japan to his YouTube channel. Among the celebrities condemning the social media influencer are Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, Piers Morgan, and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. Many are calling the video “misguided,” “irresponsible,” “disgusting,” and even “pure trash.”
Twitter is in an uproar following the YouTube video which was uploaded by Logan Paul, a YouTube influencer who has more than 15 million subscribers. The YouTuber is facing global criticism for uploading a video that featured the body of a Japanese man who appeared to have recently committed suicide. The video appeared to show a person who had recently hanged himself in a Japanese forest known as the scene of many attempted suicides. The Logan Paul video was uploaded on December 31st and removed from YouTube not long after following overwhelming backlash. In the video, Logan Paul and his friends tour Japan’s Aokigahara forest, nicknamed the “Suicide Forest,” when the group encounters a man hanging after committing suicide. The 22-year-old YouTuber exclaims, “Are you joking?” before reiterating to the camera that they are looking at a dead body.
After receiving over 6 million views, Logan Paul took down the video following a flood of criticism over what many are calling disturbing and disrespectful content. Although YouTuber Logan Paul wrote an apology (which he posted to his Twitter), asking people to be understanding of the demands of his career. The YouTuber explains in the open apology that it’s his mission to bring “real” and “edgy” content that caused him to lose sight of the ramifications of uploading such a video. But many were reluctant to show the Vlogger any sympathy. In the note, Logan Paul denies accusations that the controversial content was for views, saying “I get views.” YouTuber Logan Paul went on to say that the video was to raise awareness for suicide prevention, as the video contained minute-long statements about the dangers of depression, telling people they are not alone and they are loved. Aside from the Twitter apology (which wasn’t well-received), many people were particularly offended over the way in which Logan Paul, along with three of his friends, reacted to the discovery of the dead man’s body.
Many people were furious that the social media influencer chose to film the dead body instead of turning the camera off while proceeding to use the footage of the man on his channel. Many people felt YouTuber Logan Paul was disrespectful towards the body, noting that he zoomed into the body several times, providing close-ups of the man’s hands as well as the pockets of the victim to point out he still had his wallet with him and only blurring out the man’s face. Following the footage of the body, Logan Paul and his friends then turned the camera on themselves to talk about their reaction, at one point laughing when discussing what they’d discovered. Although some are arguing that everyone’s reaction to discovering something so horrific would be unpredictable and shouldn’t be scrutinized, many are still arguing that the YouTuber made a conscious effort to film, edit and upload the footage to his channel. People were particularly disturbed by his decision to put an image of the deceased body in the thumbnail of the video (some say to draw viewers). Backlash is also being directed towards Youtube, as many noted that it was Logan Paul himself who took down the video. The video also didn’t offer a warning of graphic content or contain an age restriction, having many parents up in arms as many “Logang” fans are of a younger viewership.
YouTube releases statement after celebrity vlogger Logan Paul films body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s haunted forest and puts video on YouTube. He has since apologized and taken down post, but outcry continues. pic.twitter.com/E95Cz0CJew
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) January 2, 2018
Many wondered why the content wasn’t flagged and removed by YouTube itself. The video received so many views in a matter of hours that it had even made the “top 10” trending videos section of YouTube. YouTube has commented on the incident, stating that “if a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases, it will be age-gated.” Despite Paul’s original video being taken down, re-uploaded versions of the video have made their way on YouTube and are appearing on trending lists around the world. Top YouTube creators have noted that their commentary videos on the incident, which do not include graphic content, have been removed from YouTube multiple times. Many are calling for YouTube to take action against Logan Paul, threatening to cancel YouTube Red subscriptions if they refuse to do so. The consensus among angry viewers is the Vlogger’s channel should be removed or suspended indefinitely but so far, no action has been taken against YouTuber Logan Paul, who posted an apology video to his channel the next day. Similar to his previous apology, a teary-eyed Logan Paul apologized to viewers as well as the family of the man who took his life. “The reactions that you saw on tape were raw, unfiltered,” Paul said. “None of us knew how to act or feel. I should have never posted the video, I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through. There were a lot of things I should have done differently, but I didn’t. And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.” He also asked his fiercely dedicated fanbase not to defend his actions.
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.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) January 2, 2018
Celebrities such as Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul (who is not related to Logan Paul) personally tweeted at the YouTuber to express his distaste over the video. Aaron Paul wrote: “Dear Logan Paul, 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. Ap.” Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones also gave the social media influencer a piece of her mind, stating “@LoganPaul You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your “apology” is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did.”
Many of Logan Paul’s loyal fans, many of whom are young teens, defended his video, calling it an inspirational message about depression and asking people to stop criticizing him. They’ve defended his intentions behind the video and many are saying that people who chose to watch the video are responsible for their decision to do so. The Logan Paul video has inspired a flurry of “reaction videos,” with responses ranging from disgust to younger vloggers thanking him for his efforts. The controversy has created a heated conversation on Twitter, with many users saying his young fans aren’t aware of the ramifications of the video and what they’ve seen. The video didn’t offer a warning of graphic content or contain an age restriction which has several parents assessing their younger children’s YouTube access. Logan Paul’s latest statement on Twitter announced he would be taking a step back from YouTube to reflect on everything that has happened over the past few days, followed by a “see you soon.” Logan Paul didn’t give an estimated window for when he may return, but a YouTube representative has confirmed he’s received a strike against his channel for violating the company’s community guidelines. If he were to receive three similar strikes in the span of three months, his channel could be removed. It’s unclear if YouTube is imposing any other restrictions on his channel at this time and they’ve offered no further comments on the matter.
Dear @LoganPaul pic.twitter.com/kM3YZkPl0f
— Casey Neistat (@Casey) January 2, 2018
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