YouTube star Logan Paul has apologized after facing an avalanche of criticism for sharing the image of a suicide victim.
Paul posted the macabre clip filmed on location in Japan’s Aokigahara, also known as “suicide forest” due to the high number of suicides that take place within the woods.
The Paul controversy is the latest backlash to hit a YouTube star for inappropriate content. Last February, Disney’s Maker Studios severed ties with YouTube star PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, after he released a series of anti-Semitic posts to his 53 million subscribers. Paul’s brother Jake was fired by the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark following a public nuisance incident.
“Let’s start with this—I’m sorry,” Logan explained in a followup post to his 3.9 million Twitter followers. “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’m still a human being. I can be wrong.”
He continued, “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 and suicide prevention…I’m often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have and with great power comes great responsibility. For the first time in my life I’m regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won’t happen again.”