International outrage has erupted after YouTube star Logan Paul, who has a young fan base, posted a video of himself and his friends in the Aokigahara forest, located at the base of Mount Fuji, a known suicide spot in Japan. In that video, the group came across a body hanging from a tree, CNN reports. The deceased male’s face was blurred out, the Verge reports.
Paul’s reaction to seeing the dead body?
"This is a first for me. This literally probably just happened."
"I don't feel good,” one of Paul’s friends said.
Paul responded to that by asking, "What, you never stand next to a dead guy?"
Then, Paul began laughing. Later in the video, he defended his reaction stating, "the smiling and laughing [...] is not a portrayal of how I feel about the circumstances. Everyone copes with s--- differently. [...] I cope with things with humor."
Paul went on to exclaim shock and amusement at the situation, which was interpreted by some as disrespectful. Needless to say, the internet was not impressed.
Author Caitlin Doughty tweeted, “Paul believes he's 'making YouTube history' by vlogging the body of a young person who died by suicide. You're not Neil Armstrong bro, it's simply a thing no one else has been tacky enough to do outside rotten.com circa 2000.”
The video has since been taken down and on Monday night Paul issued an apology.
“I’m sorry. This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before,” Paul tweeted in his apology. 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. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought, 'if this video saves just ONE life, it'll be worth it,' I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video.”
Paul was further blasted over his apology, which many called insincere.
Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul tweeted in response: “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.”
Others responded by tweeting out the suicide hotline.
[Photo: Getty Images]