'No vlog for now'
Logan Paul is taking a break from his daily vlog.
Days after the YouTube star came under fire Sunday for posting a graphic video of the body of an alleged suicide victim filmed in Aokigahara, Japan — a forest at Mount Fuji’s base that is often referred to as “suicide forest” due to the high number of 4suicides that occur there — he revealed Wednesday that he will not be releasing new videos for the time being.
“Taking time to reflect,” wrote Paul, 22. “No vlog for now see you soon.”
The social media personality — who boasts 15 million followers on YouTube, has endorsement deals with HBO and Pepsi, and appeared on a recent episode of Top Chef — first apologized for posting the since-deleted 15-minute clip titled “We found a dead boy in the Japanese Suicide Forest” on Twitter Monday, claiming the intention of his video was to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
“Let’s start with this — I’m sorry,” he wrote. “This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before. I’m surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I’m still a human being. I can be wrong.”
“I didn’t do it for views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the Internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention,” he continued. “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 ended his apology by asking his fans to understand his mistake, and assuring them it wouldn’t happen again.
“I do this s— every day. I’ve made a 15 minute TV show EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 460+ days. One may understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment without fully weighing the possible ramifications,” he said.
The statement concluded: “I’m often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have and with great power comes great responsibility… for the first time in my life I’m regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won’t happen again. I love everyone. I believe in people. I’m out here. Peace.”
In a video tweeted Tuesday morning, he said: “I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment, and I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize,” he said. “What we came across that day in the woods was obviously unplanned, and the reactions you saw on tape were raw. They were unfiltered. None of us knew how to react or how to feel. I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down.”
He added, “I want to apologize to the victim and his family. For my fans who are defending my actions, please don’t. They do not deserve to be defended.”
The video reportedly began with an intro from Paul boasting about the disturbing content before showing footage of what appeared to be a dead body with its face blurred out.
“This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel,” Paul said, New York Magazine reported. “I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever. Now with that said: Buckle the f— up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again!”
While Paul later made reference to the seriousness of suicide, depression and mental illness in his video — even linking to the American Society for Suicide Prevention in the clip’s description — criticism from his audience, who are mostly teens, came swiftly, many asking YouTube to suspend his account.