YouTubers sometimes face a lot of backlash for posting content that offends a portion of their viewers. Recently, Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, got into hot water for using a racial slur in a video. The popular YouTuber was not only criticized by the general public but also by several game developers.
Now, another YouTuber with a high subscriber count is under heavy fire for publishing a seemingly insensitive video featuring a suicide victim's dead body.
American vlogger Logan Paul, who is on a trip to Japan, posted a video of his visit to the country's infamous Aokigahara forest, a site where people commit suicide. The 15-minute video, which according to Paul, was meant to focus on the "haunted" aspect of the forest, instead turned out to be one of the most controversial videos on YouTube once Paul's group discovered a dead body.
The video featured close-ups of the body with only the face blurred out, and also a couple of insensitive jokes, which incurred a few laughs as well.
The video in question was not monetized, and was taken down once it started receiving criticism. However, it is important to note that the video was not only visible to Paul's 15 million subscribers, but also anyone who has access to YouTube, which means that it garnered millions of views before it was finally taken down.
Logan Paul later issued an apology on Twitter, saying that:
Where do I begin... Let's start with this - I'm sorry. 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 I believe that 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. I intended to raise awareness for 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.
I do this sh*t 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. I'm often reminded of how big a reach I truly have & with great power comes great responsibilities... for the first time in my life I'm regretful to say that I have handled that power incorrectly. It won't happen again. I love everyone. I believe in people. I'm out here. Peace. #Logang4Life
The internet hasn't responded well to the YouTuber's apology, claiming that he's a "terrible" person who just published the video for attention. Others have also noted that the apology isn't because Paul felt sorry for the content of the video, but because of the harsh criticism that it received. Other influential YouTubers such as Marques Brownlee and PewDiePie have also called out Logan Paul for his insensitive video, saying that he doesn't represent the entire YouTube community.