On Dec. 31, YouTube vlogger Logan Paul posted footage showing him and friends laughing uncomfortably as they came across a dead body hanging on a tree in Japan’s Aokigahara forest. The location is known as “The Suicide Forest” for the high number of suicides that take place there. He deleted the clip the next day amid a social media backlash and apologized in a new video for his “severe and continuous lapse” in judgment.
Paul’s offensive video has also been a topic of conversation at Mt. Hebron. A former fan of Paul and 12th grader said, “I subscribe to his channel. I watched the video right as it was posted and was appalled. He has never posted something that was not enjoyable or funny, so this took me by surprise.”
A 10th grader said, “It was all over Twitter. That’s how I heard about it because I never really go on Youtube. I am not sure how someone taking their own life would be funny in any way, and for him to post it with no cares in the world is sick.”
On Wednesday, Paul tweeted, “Taking time to reflect…no vlog for now…see you soon.” In the days leading up to his controversial video, Paul shared other videos showing him getting into many hijinks in Japan. While he does meet a lot of fans, he also acts disrespectfully at times in an attempt to be funny. He is seen throwing a toy Pokeball at people and a moving car while wearing a Pikachu onesie, running through an electronics store, dancing with a male friend in the street wearing a kimono, and yelling at the top of his lungs while sticking a dead fish and raw squid legs in strangers’ faces.
After the video was taken down, YouTube said in a statement that the video had violated its policies, which prohibit “violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner.” And after further investigation, YouTube has decided to cut all ties with the Paul.
“In light of recent events, we have decided to remove Logan Paul’s channels from Google Preferred,” a spokesperson for YouTube told reporters. “Additionally, we will not feature Logan in Season 4 of Foursome, and his new originals are on hold.”
“Suicide is not a joke nor should it ever be a driving force for views. That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness. We expect more of the creators who build their community on @Youtube, as we’re sure you do too. The channel violated our community guidelines, and we acted accordingly,” YouTube said in an open letter posted on Twitter.