Logan Paul’s Appalling Behavior

Samantha Meng, Staff Writer

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    For YouTube, 2017 was the year of diss tracks, scandals, and public apologies. In the midst of all the swirling rumors, rising dramas, and plummeting careers, there were two YouTubers who remained constantly on the rise—the Paul brothers. Regardless of annoying neighbors, stirring up family feuds, plagiarizing songs, or releasing harsh, racially-charged freestyle rap lyrics, the reputation of the two brothers seemed to be unfazed. Public outcry against their videos tended to subside after a week, and the world moved on to the next big Paul thing. At least, this was the case until Logan Paul decided to take it too far by videotaping a corpse.

    On December 31, 2017, Logan uploaded one of his daily blogs as usual. However, unlike his normally light-hearted, borderline-conceited vlogs, this vlog, shot in Aokigahara, Japan (known colloquially as the Japanese “Suicide Forest”), was titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest.” The video accumulated over six million views before being taken down. The video showed Paul wandering off into the Aokigahara forest before discovering a body. The video contained footage of a corpse hanging from a tree, and Logan made insensitive jokes about the body while pointing out its belongings and how long it had been there.

    People were outraged. Logan claimed that he published the video for the purpose of “suicide prevention”. However, if he wanted to make a video talking about suicide, he should have used a different approach. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the nation’s 10th leading cause of death, and according to the World Health Organization, every thirty seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. In the beginning of the controversial video, Logan boasts, “This definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never, hopefully, happened to anyone on YouTube.” Chances are that this has actually happened before, but most people had enough empathy to put down the camera. The video was eventually taken down by Logan, and he apologized on Twitter, saying, “I’m sorry. This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before…I didn’t do it for the views. I get views.”

I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.” The apology may have passed if the celebrity didn’t end it with the hashtag“Logang4Life”, which seems to suggest that he was still concerned with branding even after the pandemonium. His video apology seemed more genuine, but his priorities were misplaced. He apologizes to the internet prior to apologizing to the victim’s family. Ryan Abe, a Tweeter with a massive following, reminded people that the deceased individual was “someone’s family member.” The people he hurt should have been the first people he apologized to. Still, waves of Logan’s fanbase, many of whom are young, impressionable kids who are too young to understand why his actions were wrong, flooded to defend him.
Logan Paul’s videos are mostly targeted toward adolescents, so the way he portrays himself influences what teens view as cool. His online personality is obnoxious, arrogant, and disrespectful, and that encourages viewers who idolize him to mimic his actions. Whether these influential YouTubers are aware of the severity of their actions or not, consequences should be made as expected of any other civilian to show that egregious actions cannot be tolerated.
Logan Paul took a break from vlogging to “reflect”, and he returned on January 24, 2018, with a video about suicide prevention. In the video, he pledged 1 million dollars to the cause. Now, the question is this: should he be forgiven, and how long will it be before another controversy?