YouTube personality Logan Paul apologized for sharing a video during a visit to Japan’s “suicide forest” that included footage of what appeared to be a dead body, NPR reported.
“Where do I begin,” Paul wrote on his Twitter page late Monday. “Let’s start with this. I’m sorry.”
“I didn’t do it for views. I get views,” tweeted Paul, who has more than 15 million YouTube subscribers. “I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity.”
Paul said in his Twitter post that he originally posted the video to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.
The video was filmed in the Aokigahara forest at the edge of Mount Fuji, an area that has been famous for its popularity among people who want to carry out a suicide, NPR reported. In his video, Paul blurred out the face of the person who had died, but he showed other parts of the body as he and his friends stood near it and talked.
“Yo, are you alive?" he says in the video, Fox News reported.
The video was uploaded Sunday and titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest.” According to New York magazine, it garnered more than 6 million views in less than one day before it was removed by Paul.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
The backlash Paul received included a tweet from actress and online video veteran Anna Akana, who lost her sister, Kristina, to suicide 10 years ago.
“You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness,” she tweeted.
Dear @LoganPaul,— Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana) January 2, 2018
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.
You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.
An edited version of the video was later posted to Twitter; it does not include footage of the body. Instead, it shows some of Paul's reactions and comments, NPR reported.
Paul said that he had “demonetized” the video, which had a segment in the parking lot near the forest. In that segment, he told viewers that his laughter and attempts at humor were a coping mechanism after seeing the body.
Logan Paul and his friends laughing and smiling after discovering a dead body pic.twitter.com/azY7EAiuC4— JhbTeam (@JhbTeam) January 2, 2018
YouTube star Laci Green was not amused, NPR reported, tweeting that “exploiting a suicide victim in Japan to the tune of 6M+ views while YouTube demonetizes students protesting in Iran is a perfect example of what a sociopathic garbage fire YouTube has become.”
logan paul exploiting a suicide victim in Japan to the tune of 6M+ views while youtube demonetizes students protesting in Iran is a perfect example of what a sociopathic garbage fire youtube has become. this industry has no soul left.— Laci Green (@gogreen18) January 2, 2018
Japan’s suicide rate is one of the highest among developed nations, NPR reported. In the U.S., the rate has been climbing since 2000 — with the biggest increase seen in girls who are 10-14 years old, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year.