Logan Paul: YouTube star explains why he uploaded controversial 'suicide forest' video

Vlogger is on media tour after briefly leaving YouTube in wake of controversy

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 01 February 2018 14:45 GMT
Logan Paul explains why he uploaded the controversial suicide video

Controversial YouTube star Logan Paul has said that the video he uploaded of a dead man's body was intended to be educational.

Earlier this month, Mr Paul uploaded footage of himself and his friends standing laughing next to the corpse of a man who had died by suicide. The group had found the body during a trip to Japan, in which they visited the so-called "suicide forest" Aokigahara, as well as posting a range of other controversial videos.

Now, as part of a media tour in which Mr Paul apologised for the controversial video, the vlogger has attempted to explain why he posted the footage. He had originally intended to post the video – which included him joking and laughing next to the man's dead body – as a way of raising awareness about suicide prevention, he claimed.

Asked in an interview with Good Morning America whether he had though about whether he should post the video during the long process of filming and editing it, he said he had. But it was important to put it out there as a message, he claimed.

"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," he said during the interview. "Still that's the goal today."

YouTuber Logan Paul uploads footage of dead body in forest in Japan

But he had not intended to run into a dead body despite the reputation of the forest, he said.

"The idea was to just do another fun vlog. Go camp for a night, and make an entertaining piece of content in a forest," he said. "And things obviously changed pretty drastically and quickly."Mr Paul also said he believed he had come into contact with the man's dead body for a reason. "I think that reason is so I could take this experience, learn from it, spread the message the right way, about suicide prevention and suicide prevention awareness," he said.

That echoes an argument made by Mr Paul in his first video on YouTube after he took an extended break from posting videos. He has said that he didn't know enough about suicide and that others don't either – and promised to use his platform to spread that kind of awareness.

But he also spoke out about the abuse he has been receiving since he posted the video.

"It's been tough, because ironically I'm being told to commit suicide myself," he said. "Millions of people literally telling me they hate me, to go die in a fire."

Mr Paul posted the video in early January. After a torrent of criticism, a member of his team appeared to take the video down – but not before he had received sustained criticism from fans and celebrities.


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