YouTube star Logan Paul is under fire and is facing severe criticism after unloading a 15-minute video of him walking into the Aokigahara forest in Japan and finding a person who appeared to have died by suicide. Paul’s ad deals are on pause, and he was removed from Google Preferred, a profitable pipeline that gives advertisers access to popular personalities.  A YouTube Red movie Paul was supposed to star in, The Thinning: New World Order, has been put on pause. The creator has also been removed from Foursome, another YouTube Red comedy series.

YouTube responded to the accusations several days later after the initial video was uploaded.

Paul has a reach of 15 million YouTube subscribers, more than 16 million Instagram followers and more than 4 million Twitter followers. Paul is originally from Westlake and attended Ohio University before dropping out.

Aokigahara is also known as the Sea of Trees, or more notably, the suicide forest. Certain areas are incredibly dense and absorb sound, leaving its visitors with solitude and serenity. In 2010, there were more than 200 suicide attempts in the forest.

Paul and his friends were in Japan and traveled to Aokigahara to camp out and attempt to communicate with the spirits in the forest. Soon after the group started walking into the forest, Paul stumbled upon the body and recorded the body hanging from a tree with the face blurred out. The authorities were called, and the video closed with Paul briefly mentioning suicide prevention.

Soon after the video was uploaded, it was met with a lot of backlash, especially on Twitter.

Paul issued an apology, stating that it was a first for him and he didn’t do it for views as “I get views.” His apology ended with “I love everyone. I believe in people. I’m out here. Peace. #Logang4Life.”

After the apology was issued out, the backlash and criticisms continued. Paul then uploaded a 2-minute apology video in which he teared up and apologized to his viewers, those affected with mental illness and the victim’s family.

The Buddy Project, a nonprofit organization that helps those with mental illness and self-harm tendencies be paired with a friend, tweeted out resources available for those affected or triggered by the video.


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