Logan Paul, one of YouTube's most prominent stars, has apologized after being widely criticized for posting a video he filmed while in a Japanese national park notorious for suicides. The video graphically showed a dead man hanging from a tree, and Paul has since removed it from his channel.
The title of the video read, "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest . . ."
Paul apologized in a lengthy Twitter post on Tuesday morning following public condemnation, and said he had uploaded the video because he thought he could "make a positive ripple on the internet."
"I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video," Paul said. "I still am."
He added, "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 am still a human being. I can be wrong."
Logan, whose daily videos receive millions of views, insisted he didn't upload the video for "for the views," but instead "intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention."
The now-deleted video was uploaded on New Year's Eve and filmed at Aokigahara, a national park in Japan, commonly known as "suicide forest," because it has become a popular site where people have taken their own lives.
"This definitely marks a moment in YouTube history," Paul said in the video. "Because I’m pretty sure that this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever."
Paul then shows the body of the hanging man, leaving only his face blurred.
"Yo, are you alive?" he yelled towards the body.
Paul went on to talk about how suicide and depression should not be taken lightly, but his and his friends' lighthearted behavior towards the end of the video left many disgusted with how he treated the situation.
The New York Times elaborated:
As the group leaves the area where the body was found, Mr. Paul, who has television experience and has trained with comedy troupes, begins to engage in the kinds of behavior most familiar to his viewers: exaggerated reaction shots and nervous laughter. The tone soon becomes more antic as Mr. Paul and the others appear to try to lighten the mood.
Many reacted in shock to the video, and have blasted Paul for poor judgement and irresponsible behavior.