“We Found a Dead Body in Japan’s Suicide Forest.” That was the title of the most recent video from YouTube Celebrity, Logan Paul.
The 22-year-old internet sensation whose primary audience is 10-15 year olds, posted a video on Sunday showing what appears to be a body hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest.
Paul and his friends were reportedly filming a vlog in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, a notorious suicide spot, when they came across the body of a man who had died by suicide.
The video, which was viewed millions of times before Paul removed it on Monday, shows the man’s body from multiple angles, and blurs his face.
As they walked up on the lifeless body with cameras rolling, one member of Paul’s crew can be heard saying that he “doesn’t feel good.” To which the YouTuber responds with laughter saying, “What, you never stand next to a dead guy?”
After turning the heavy circumstance into a disgusting joking matter, Paul later made the decision to put the footage of the victim on full display to his young audience, with no regard to the fact that the man in that forest was a person and a victim, not an opportunity for the YouTuber to capitalize on.
Outraged by Paul’s actions, the internet joined forces in serving up a twitter-storm of criticism and backlash.
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
that boy logan paul said he wasnt thinking…. you know how much thinking go into going to film a video, filming a video then, exporting the video, then looking over clips, then editing the video, then reviewing the video, uploading it then titling it
— Introducing…The Coziest boy ever..CozyBoy Meech (@meechonmars) January 2, 2018
What a missed opportunity for Paul to NOT use the footage, but vlog in his hotel room later and say “something intense happened today. I had never seen a dead body. Here’s how I felt. Mental illness is awful.” Then he could dab away into the sunset or whatever.
— Caitlin Doughty (@TheGoodDeath) January 2, 2018
After coming under intense fire, Paul took to Twitter with a seemingly apathetic apology that many found to be more self-seeking than it was remorseful.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
He also claimed that his motives in posting the vlog were to “raise awareness about mental health,” not get views.
Let’s just say the internet still wasn’t impressed.
When my brother found my sister’s body, he screamed with horror & confusion & grief & tried to save her. That body was a person someone loved.
You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.
— Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana) January 2, 2018
Many tweeted the suicide hotline and prevention information, while others called on the social media star to do something REAL to raise awareness about mental health and suicide.
No matter what you’re going through, how bad it may seem right now, suicide is not the answer. Please know there are so many people that love & are here for you.
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
— James Charles (@jamescharles) January 2, 2018
if you really care logan paul then donate your 2018 youtube revenue to suicide prevention charities, @afspnational is a great one https://t.co/Jl3AQcsfyB
— Nate Garner (@natekgarner) January 2, 2018
On Tuesday morning, Paul took to Twitter once again with a video apology to express his sincerity.
So sorry. pic.twitter.com/JkYXzYsrLX
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
The Aokigahara forest is located at the base of Mt. Fuji, and known widely across Japan as the “suicide forest.” In a country where the suicide rate is among the highest, the forest is plastered with signs urging suicidal visitors to seek help.
As for Logan Paul and his highly impressionable fan-base, my prayer today is that the conversation would focus less on his crude, intolerable mistake, and more on how we can change the way we talk about mental health and suicide in 2018.