YouTube star Logan Paul is trending after he posted a video of himself discovering a dead body in a Japanese “suicide forest.”
Paul and some friends visited the Aokigahara forest at the edge of Mount Fuji, an area that has risen in popularity among people who want to commit suicide. Paul filmed his discovery and later blurred out the face of the dead person before posting it on YouTube for all of his 15 million-plus subscribers to see.
Paul says he intended to help people considering suicide to change their minds. Instead, the video has offended millions. Some are angry that he posted the video to begin with. Others are upset because he and his friends are seen laughing after finding the dead body.
“I didn’t do it for views. I get views,” he said. “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.”
Paul has removed the video and apologized. But not everyone is buying it, including members of the VOX ATL teen staff. Here are some reactions to the video.
Alia, 16: I feel like regardless of whether you think it is true or not, if the name of the forest is the “Suicide Forest,” what do you expect? Even if you weren’t expecting to see a victim of suicide, you don’t continue to record and still post the video. At the end of the day he did all of that for views and tried to put disclaimers in the video to make it better. It’s crazy what people do for money nowadays.
Jasmine, 16: It’s because they have a “following,” that they always get away with stuff.
Kaylynn, 17: I think it’s extremely inappropriate to record and laugh at the body like people who go to kill themselves are in extreme distress and to make fun of their dead bodies for YouTube views isn’t cute or funny. And even if laughing was just a natural reaction, uploading it was dumb.
Gabby, 17: He claims that he did all of this for suicide prevention and awareness, but showing awareness is not showing the body of a suicide victim for the internet to see. As soon as he saw the body he should have turned off all cameras, called the police, maybe see if the guy had a pulse, but bottom line you don’t just pull out your camera and film it for views.
Alia: Exactly. And he kept filming next to it like wtf ? Get the guy down and wait for the police or carry him to the entrance.
Kirah, 17: This is so disgusting especially because he caters to such a young demographic. He took it way too far. The media and television already has no empathy for things like death, but to point and snicker at a man who probably endured a lot of suffering and use it as “clickbait” while tons of children watch and like the video is crazy and highly insensitive. Also, YouTube didn’t do anything? Like YouTube takes down videos of children dying in Iraq and Syria but when one of the biggest stars on their platform jokes about going into a suicide forest and seeing a man hanging from a tree… it goes on the trending page?
Kenneth, 17: Nah all of his s*** got demonitized. So he’s about to make A LOT less money. I’m pretty sure he’ll lose popularity for like two months, and then his career will go on like nothing happened. White YouTubers get away with everything.
Teen Line is a nonprofit that offers support by teens, for teens (ages 13 to 19) by phone or text.