Logan Paul returns to YouTube with suicide awareness video
Popular video blogger and man-who-mocks-suicide-victims Logan Paul made his long-awaited return to YouTube today. He decided to take some "time to reflect" after uploading a video that caused a huge backlash. You know, the one where he went to Japan's infamous "suicide forest," and exploited the corpse of a man who hanged himself for ad revenue? That one. Turns out people didn't think that was super cool.
After receiving harsh criticism from journalists, celebrities, decent human beings - basically everyone except for his obnoxious edgelord adolescent fans - Logan deleted the video and released an apology. However, this apology was extremely defensive and narcissistic. He bragged about often he vlogs, said "I" and "me" in almost every sentence, and ended it all with the cringeworthy hashtag "#Logang4life." (Ugh.) To his credit, Logan followed this up with a second apology, which was more appropriate, and seemed genuinely sincere and regretful.
After weeks of frustrating radio silence, YouTube finally spoke out on the matter, admitting their negligence in leaving his controversial "dead body" video online for a full day, trending in the number one spot, as if it were totally appropriate content for children of all ages. Then they doled out some belated punishment, removing Logan's channel from their preferred ad program (causing a significant dent in his revenue) as well as cancelling his upcoming projects on YouTube Red.
Today Logan returned to YouTube, after a three-week break, publishing a video about suicide awareness. The seven-minute video, entitled "Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow," aims to educate viewers about how to prevent suicide, and repair the damage caused his previous tasteless video. Over mournful piano music, Logan says, "I know I’ve made mistakes, I know I’ve let people down. But what happens when you’re given an opportunity to help make a difference in the world? It’s time to learn from the past as I get better and grow as a human being. I’m here to have a hard conversation so that others can have easier ones."
In the video, the 22-year-old vlogger conducts an emotional interview with Kevin Hines, a man who attempted to kill himself in the year 2000 by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, and survived. He also interviews Dr. John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. After admitting his ignorance on the subject of suicide, Logan learns the five steps people can take to help prevent taking their own life. And finally, the video concludes with him pledging to make a generous donation of one million dollars to various suicide prevention organizations.
Many people praised Logan for his efforts to educate his viewers (and himself) about a very serious issue. They also said that maybe the pitchfork-carrying mob should move on. Yes, Logan did something bad, but he apologized, he was reprimanded and now he's trying to make amends. It might be time to forgive (if not forget).
"I am actually sooo proud of Logan for coming back so strong trying to learn from his mistakes," commented one fan. "I was very disappointed in him when the scandal happened but now the loganster in me is soo happy." Another "Loganster" wrote, "[People] like to watch your vlogs coz it’s you in your vlogs who gives them happiness but some people forget that sometimes a person who gives them happiness is also a human and because he is a human he can make some mistakes."
Of course, not all of the commentary was positive. To more cynical and skeptical viewers, Logan's new video feels like a ploy to exploit suicide awareness in a manner not so different from how he attempted to exploit a suicide victim. As fellow YouTuber Jimmy Wong wrote on Twitter, Logan has a history of continuously using people "as props and accessories." For example, in his other vlogs from Japan he harasses Japanese people on the the street, by chucking Pokeballs at them and dangling squid tentacles in their faces. (And they're still online.)
"We are grateful you used your platform to teach your audience about an important issue," writes Jimmy. "But let's take a step back...we get treated to a precisely formed and deliberately manipulative piece of content from your PR machine to show us you care....You're just covering your ass."
Well, whether you love Logan Paul or hate him, he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. That was a nice three weeks, though, wasn't it?