YouTuber Logan Paul filmed himself in a fluffy barnstormer hat looking for suicide victims in a Japanese forest and finding one to show to his 16 million viewers. He also pranced around the country making dumb and offensive jokes.
The outrage was such that YouTube booted him from the site's celebrity-tier ad platform, forcing him to issue a soft-focus apology and self-care PSA in which he is seen to have learned and paid for his lesson about why you don't pose in silly hats with suicide victims.
But the apology tour is showing cracks, with new excuses shining through: “the idea was to shock and show the harsh realities of suicide and get people talking about something that I don’t think people are talking about much.”
Logan Paul is continuing his apology tour following the widely criticized video of a dead body he posted on YouTube at the end of 2016. In an interview with Good Morning America today, the 22-year-old vlogger says that he posted Aokigahara forest video with a specific goal: “The idea was to shock and show the harsh realities of suicide and get people talking about something that I don’t think people are talking about much.”
Paul’s video, which he removed from YouTube after swift backlash, featured the vlogger heading into the forest with friends to do another “fun vlog,” he says. They planned to camp for the night and “make an entertaining piece of content in a forest.” Shortly after they entered the forest, he says, roughly 100 feet away from the parking lot, the group encountered the body of a man who appeared to have recently hung himself. Part of the criticism around the video is Paul’s reaction as he struggles to suppress laughter and cracks a few jokes, as well as the clear disregard for the somber legacy of the forest.
He doesn't really understand why anyone is upset, so it's inevitable that the rhetoric of his apology tour will end up blurted out as justification for the original videos. Fans get a carefully-crafted PSA centering Paul within a narrative of remorse and healing, but the temptation to offer journalists a journalistic rationale is too tempting. I bet a skilled radio comedian could get him giggling about it again within three minutes.