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American video blogger Logan Paul apologized Tuesday after getting slammed for a video he shared on YouTube that appeared to show a body hanging from a tree in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, which is known as a suicide spot.
“I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize,” he said.
He also said he felt ashamed and disappointed in himself.
“I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through. There were a lot of things I should have done differently, but I didn’t. For that, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
Critics, who have also gone online, say what was offensive was Paul’s giggling and joking about the body.
Imagine if everyone who had power and massive influence used it for good? Please don’t let @youtube views alter your values and morals. Common sense over ad sense. Stay woke. Spread love. Encourage growth. ????
How dare you! You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.
@LoganPaul You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your “apology” is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did.
When my brother found my sister’s body, he screamed with horror & confusion & grief & tried to save her. That body was a person someone loved.
What a missed opportunity for Paul to NOT use the footage, but vlog in his hotel room later and say “something intense happened today. I had never seen a dead body. Here’s how I felt. Mental illness is awful.” Then he could dab away into the sunset or whatever.
Paul posted a more sanguine video on YouTube on Monday, showing him romping through a Tokyo park, talking about his apparel brand, visiting gadget stores and running around city streets wearing a Pokemon outfit.
He briefly mentioned the encounter with a body at the start of the video, saying, “That was weird.”
YouTube has also released a comment about the controversy.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video. YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner,” the company said in a statement.
“If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated.”
Suicide also does not suffer the religious stigma in Japan that does in other cultures. Ritual suicide, known as seppuku or hara-kiri, has long been portrayed in movies and theatre as an honourable way to take responsibility.
Although Japan has many suicide-prevention groups, the culture of shame has family members of convicted criminals, people who have racked up massive debt and youngsters bullied at school often turning to suicide.