“I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment, and I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize,” Paul told his fans on the YouTube vlog. “I should’ve never posted the video. I should’ve put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through.”
Paul first posted a typed apology on Twitter and then made a video apology on YouTube. The apologies come after Paul received tremendous criticism over the video on social media, including from his peers.
“I want to apologize to the internet. I want to apologize to anyone who’s seen the video. I want to apologize to anyone who has been affected or touched by mental illness or depression or suicide. But most importantly I want to apologize to the victim and his family,” added Paul via the apology video.
Here's the longer version for my Twitter squad: pic.twitter.com/dMcx6i4oQu
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) August 30, 2015
In the video, Paul and his friends enter an area near Mount Fuji colloquially known as “Suicide Forest.” According to CNN, the area holds the unfortunate reputation as a place where people go to end their lives. For decades Japanese movies and literature have furthered that reputation.
The park is officially known as Aokigahara, also called “Sea of Trees.” CNN reported how officials have tried a number of methods to slow the number of suicides that occur in the area. Cameras, higher bridge railings, and police patrols have been used to attempt to keep the suicide rate down.
“It’s my dream to stop suicides in this forest, but to be honest, it would be difficult to prevent all the cases here,” prefectural government official Imasa Watanabe told CNN.
After Paul posted the video showing the body of a suicide victim hanging from a tree, the video went viral, and so did the backlash.
“For my fans who are defending my actions, please don’t. They do not deserve to be defended,” added Paul in his apology video. “Like I said, I’ve made a huge mistake. I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m just here to apologize. I’m ashamed of myself. I’m disappointed in myself. And I promise to be better. I will be better. Thank you.”
Although the episode has been removed, Paul mentions the forest in the intro to his next posted vlog episode:
“Guys I feel so good right now. Last night we went out. It’s a bit weird starting the year like this because you guys saw yesterday’s vlog. A first for me. That was weird. If you don’t know what I’m talking about guys we found a dead body hanging in the Japanese suicide forest. Not exactly how I planned on ending 2017.”
And that is all that Paul mentions of the episode before embarking on the next wild adventure in his Japan trip.
Much of the video, just like other episodes of his vlog, is spent goofing off, aggressively and constantly promoting his clothing line, and generally playing the role of the loud, uncontainable American dude.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
None of those things was a problem until his trademark spastic approach was brought into the “Suicide Forest.” PewDiePie, a vlogger who earlier faced his own troubles for content he posted on YouTube, had much to criticize Paul about.
“Logan has made 440 vlogs. He does it every single day, and there’s always ‘What’s the next big vlog? What’s going to be the next big thing that draws people in?’ Of course, if something like this happens he’s going to want to capitalize on it. He’s going to want to try and draw attention to him,” said PewDiePie in his Jan. 2 YouTube vlog. “And he knows he’s going to get more attention if he films the body, shows it in the thumbnail, all these things that he did.”
Since posting his text apology on Jan. 1 and video apology on Jan. 2, Paul has yet to post new vlog content.