Logan Paul Controversy

By Mary Coulibay

On January 1st, well known Youtuber, Logan Paul uploaded a video about his trip to Japan. Logan began his video as expected; he was loud and obnoxious and inappropriately ignorant about whom he sees and to whom he offends.  However this was taken to a new level.

Logan was walking off the trail into the suicide forest, the woodland at the base of Mount Fuji, which has a reputation for being a place where people go to end their lives, since Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. He was filming a 24 hour challenge when he saw a man who had hung himself on a nearby tree. He and his friends made jokes, laughed, and zoomed in on the hanging body, and even talked to him as if he were alive. This vlog was seen by millions of people before it was taken down.  In addition to that, it was trending on twitter nationally within minutes.

Many other people in the Youtube community spoke out on the disgusting act. Many people were upset with Youtube for allowing the video to be under the trending section on the website and app, as well as many reuploaded videos after Logan took the video off of his own channel. Youtube has announced they are looking into further consequences and on January 9th tweeted off their official twitter, “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.” The wave of anger calmed slightly when Logan uploaded a brief video on January 2, apologizing and saying “for my fans who are defending my actions please don’t, they do not deserve to be defended.”  He has attempted to salvage his reputation by uploading a seven-minute YouTube clip dedicated to suicide prevention and he even pledged a $1million donation to suicide prevention charities in the clip. After many complaints from viewers, fans and fellow Youtubers, Youtube has announced that his channel, which has 15 million subscribers, will lose access to Google’s premium ad program. AndPrior to the incident Paul was supposed to star in the YouTube original movie “The Thinning: New World Order,” slated to come out later this year.,  but Paul’s original projects with YouTube Red are now “on hold”.

Some of the ‘Logang’ believed the apologetic act Logan posted, however many people continued to respond negatively. Although Logan claimed to start thinking about his actions before posting in his apology video, he must have forgotten when he posted yet another disrespectful video from about his trip in Japan within a few days. In Paul’s videos after that he is wearing a kimono and a rice farmer hat, while running and screaming through the city.

This is not his first time he has had to deal with controversy.  He has been accused of making several racist and homophobic jokes, for which he’s apologized publicly.  Paul started posting videos of online using an app called Zoosh when he was only 10 years old. By the time Paul was in high school, he began posting short six-second clips on Vine, where he gained a huge following.  Eventually, Paul found YouTube, and there he's posted videos on two channels, one for vlogs, daily video blogs, and another for more rehearsed "official" videos.

Paul returned to vlogging last week. He jokingly had a narrator call him a disgraced YouTuber, followed by footage of him hiding his face from the paparazzi. Then he fought back against the narrator, reminding viewers that he gained a million subscribers while he was away (he’s at 16 million now).  Sadly all of this controversy has only made him more popular. What does that say about viewers and his audience?