Logan Paul caused worldwide backlash after posting a YouTube video showing a dead body in Japan's "suicide forest" —and now, he's hoping for a second chance.
"Everyone deserves second chances, bro," he told TMZ reporters, before confirming that another message regarding the scandal is in the works. "It's coming. Absolutely, soon."
According to a statement from a YouTube spokesperson via the Hollywood Reporter, Logan has been removed from the Google Preferred program. It's a program that lets brands work with the top five percent of YouTube creators and sell ads on their videos.
"In light of recent events, we have decided to remove Logan Paul’s channels from Google Preferred. Additionally, we will not feature Logan in season four of Foursome. and his new Originals are on hold," she said.
This means that the upcoming The Thinning sequel with Peyton List, New World Order, might be up in the air. However, he is not actually banned from the platform itself.
The original video got millions of views before it was removed from the internet. After thousands of hate tweets he got on social media from celebrities and fans, he apologized for his actions – claiming he did it for suicide prevention. Although, that doesn't change the fact that millions of viewers (many being children) could have been intensely affected by the footage they saw.
"Where do I begin. Let's start with this. I'm sorry," Logan wrote on Twitter after the controversial video swept the internet.
"I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought 'if this video saves just ONE life, it'll be worth it,' I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video. I still am," he added. The tweet was then followed by a second apology, in which he explained on camera that he regrets what he did. And for the fans who are sticking up for him, he doesn't want anyone coming to his defense about this.
YouTube previously came out with a statement regarding the scandal.
An open letter to our community:— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what's going on.
Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views. As Anna Akana put it perfectly: "That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness."— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
It’s taken us a long time to respond, but we’ve been listening to everything you’ve been saying. We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we’ll have more to share soon on steps we’re taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again.— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
YouTube executive Robert Kyncl publicly addressed the situation as well, and it looks like YouTube is willing to work with Logan again.
"We believe he's made missteps," YouTube's chief business officer said during a Q&A session at the Television Critics Association press tour. "He's expressed remorse very quickly and is learning from the experience."
They're now expecting Logan to prove himself – how? Through actions.
The YouTube executive added, "The most important thing to focus on is that actions should speak louder than words. Logan has the opportunity to prove that."
It's safe to say he got a whole lot of criticism online, but will he be legally punished? Well, a spokesman for the Yamanashi prefectural police told the Associated Press that people aren't legally obligated to report suicides. However, Inside Edition reported that authorities might be interested in talking to Logan about the incident.
Logan's video was shot in Aokigahara forest at the edge of Mount Fuji, a location that is known as a place people have gone to tragically take their own life. While the face of the hanging man Logan showed in the footage was blurred, the rest of the man was shown up close – as Logan and a friend talked about the experience through smiling and laughter. Not to mention, his tweet promoting the video when it went live gave no warning of the intense content that would be shown.
new vlog— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) December 31, 2017
idk man just go
taking time to reflect— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 4, 2018
no vlog for now
see you soon
Many people, both fans, and celebrities took to Twitter to share just how offended and horrified they are by Logan's actions, finding his apology extremely disingenuous.
logan paul should’ve stopped filming the body when he realized it was a suicide, but instead he kept zooming in on the body and used it as clickbait, i’m so sick. suicide is a serious issue and trying to use it for views is disturbing and disgusting.— ً (@joliyoongi) January 2, 2018
Suicide is serious. People have lost loved ones, idols, hero’s, fans to suicide. Filming a video and mocking a victim is not raising suicide awareness. Laughing at the body of a poor depressed soul. I can’t believe the disrespect of the victim, their family, and your YOUNG fans.— Grayson Dolan (@GraysonDolan) January 2, 2018
The horrible measures people will go to in order to have content to stay relevant is absolutely disgusting. Being blinded by your ego so much so that thinking it is okay to make insensitive remarks about suicide, and broadcasting it for millions of CHILDREN to see is sickening.— Ethan Dolan (@EthanDolan) January 2, 2018
Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner also spoke her mind, tweeting directly at the YouTuber.
@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.— Sophie Turner (@SophieT) January 2, 2018
Filmmaker and actress Anna Akana's tweet about the controversy stood out to people, as she shared a personal story of hers. Anna lost her 13-year-old sister to suicide in 2007, and she found Logan's video immensely hurtful.
Dear @LoganPaul,— Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana) January 2, 2018
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.
Breaking Bad star made a public statement on Twitter about the scandal as well. And yes, we know what you're thinking – is Logan Paul related to Aaron Paul? Nope, their names are just a coincidence. In fact, Aaron's full name is actually Aaron Paul Sturtevant.
Dear @LoganPaul,— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) January 2, 2018
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.
Tons of people, including Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, have tweeted out hotline numbers for those who felt uncomfortable after watching the video.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for kids between 15 and 19. It shouldn’t be a joke...— Skai Jackson ♡ (@skaijackson) January 2, 2018
Suicide Prevention Hotline
Depression Hotline: 1-888-640-5174
Self Harm Hotline: 1-877-455-0628
Mental Health Hotline
here is a list of international suicide hotline numbers. pic.twitter.com/wNoEMzaQeO— Skai Jackson ♡ (@skaijackson) January 2, 2018
Just over a week since the situation happened, Logan actually beefed up security around his house in California. A security squad car was pictured in the driveway of his one-acre property. The Daily Mail snagged the photos yet we're unsure as to what company Logan hired to protect him. It's important to note that the patriarch of the LoGang already had a security detail, but it seems like he added more in the wake of his scandal. It's not surprising, to be honest. He's getting some serious heat so it's only natural that he'd want to bring in a few extra security hands for the time being.
With all of the details surrounding Logan and what he has and hasn't done since posting such a horrific vlog, we can't lose sight of the point here. YouTube should be a safe place to go to for information and entertainment, and we hope this serves as a lesson to never let a video like this to happen again.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.
This post was originally published on January 2, 2018 and since has been updated.