Logan Paul, the YouTuber who sparked a public backlash three weeks ago after posting a video in Japan’s “suicide forest,” has finally returned back to the platform with a video about suicide prevention. In his first post back, he published a video focused on suicide and self-harm prevention.
Paul first found himself in trouble when, in early January, he posted a video titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest.” The video, which showed a suicide victim with only the face blurred out, was viewed more than six million times before it was taken down. In it, Paul jokes about the body and seemingly approaches the subject of suicide with an unacceptable levity.
The internet’s reaction was fiercely negative.
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
The 22-year-old vlogger is trying to repair the damage to the mini digital empire he built out of his prank-and-stunt-filled daily missives on YouTube watched by millions of followers, many of them tweens, teens and kids. His video showing a dead body hanging from a tree in Aokigahara, the Japanese “suicide forest” where dozens of corpses are discovered every year, fetched millions of views before Paul took it down. Millions more viewers tuned into his apology.
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 24, 2018
In the new video, Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow, Paul addresses the controversy and admits he had let people down.
“It’s time to learn from the past as I get better and grow as a human being,” he says.
He says part of the problem was his “ignorance on the subject”, revealing he did not know anyone personally who had died from suicide.
He also speaks to Kevin Hines, who survived a suicide attempt from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge aged only 19.
In the video he also shares advice with his fan base about steps they can take to help prevent suicide.
He and his brother Jake Paul are now two of YouTube’s most influential users, after initially finding fame on short-form video app Vine.
They are known for their high-energy videos and shocking pranks, but now have lucrative endorsement and merchandise deals away from vlogging.
The pair, aged 20 and 22, have their own channels with millions of subscribers, many of which are teenagers or younger.