Logan Paul returned to YouTube last night after he caused a scandal by posting a vlog showing the body of a man who took his own life.
The disgraced YouTube star took a break from vlogging about his daily life when he received a significant backlash against his video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim in a Japanese forest.
The comeback video, entitled Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow, was uploaded yesterday (January 24) to his YouTube channel with links to suicide prevention hotlines.
You can watch it here:
In the seven-minute mini documentary, Paul meets activists as well as suicide survivor, Kevin Hines and admits he had ‘complete ignorance to the subject’.
Paul also pledges to donate $1 million to prevention groups as he expresses shock at the sheer rate of suicides.
In his video he 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.
Its time to start a new chapter in my life as I continue to educate both myself and others on suicide. I am humbled and thankful to say this is just the beginning.
At the time of writing the video has over 8 million views on YouTube, with the majority of comments expressing support for Paul, praising him for returning to the platform.
Paul deserves respect for returning to YouTube as it took guts considering just how controversial his vlog was.
It could’ve been much easier for him to hide away in his mansion, with his millions of dollars and continue to sell merchandise as well as explore other avenues in order to make a living.
However, he faced both his fears and an angry public which takes courage – a quality Paul has never shown before – it’s to be admired even if it’s difficult to admit.
Others would have stayed hidden.
The Paul we see in this video does appear to be a changed man as he shows a side to his personality we’ve never seen before.
The comeback video is appropriately mature and serious in tone – it’s a far cry from his usual screaming and prank-filled vlogs.
It’s also evident he’s learned a lot in the past three weeks, returning in the best possible way, given the circumstances – with an important and emotional video addressing a serious topic he previously laughed at.
At one point in the video the founder of a recovery centre dubiously asks Paul:
You’ve never known anybody that killed themselves?
Paul looks at him and simply answers:
No one – that was part of the problem, just my ignorance on the subject.
Although this statement could be portrayed as a poor excuse for him showing a lack of empathy, the way Paul says ‘no one’ and the inclusion of the conversation in the video, shows he believes this led to the whole controversy.
Paul is only 22-years-old and first rose to fame in 2014 on the video-sharing platform Vine, when he was just a teenager, which lead to him dropping out of university to pursue a career in social media.
He lives in a $6.55 million mansion, has his own fleet of sports cars, his own merchandise brand and millions of followers – he doesn’t live in the real world and never has.
Now he knows what reality is and how suicide is a real epidemic – one person takes their own life every 40 seconds.
Living in reality, Paul knows his actions were wrong, showing his readiness to make a change.
Logan Paul is making the effort to educate himself on the topic, he is making the effort to be more humble, caring & sensitive towards this matter. he is trying. that’s all he can do at this point and if you’re coming here to hate bc it’s “trendy” don’t.
he. is. trying.
— ᴍᴀᴅɪɪ ✄ (@fancybabybutera) January 24, 2018
I respect him. I couldn't stand him. But he made a mistake – welcome to the real world where everyone does. He's using that mistake to make positive change. I respect that. He's not running or hiding. He's admitting and changing. @LoganPaul https://t.co/hB9M1iCNiJ
— Demi ?️ (@DemiLeighFr) January 25, 2018
However, Paul does have a long way to go, which he recognises himself saying the video ‘is just the beginning’.
He has to make sure this comeback video isn’t just a well-timed PR piece, which covers up his mistake and attempts to get empathy from his viewers and the world.
The videos he posts and work he does after will really show whether he’s learnt from his mistakes and wants to use his influence for a greater good?
TLDR – Logan Paul finally gave the world a unifying reason so we could all rally against him. His vlog also showed us a very messed up & privileged kid with far too much influence and little wisdom to go with it. Thus, his suicide awareness video is a BANDAID on a BROKEN BONE.
— Jimmy (@jfwong) January 24, 2018
Although Paul does interview a suicide survivor he makes the video about himself as he concentrates on his mistakes, his opportunities and how he can make a difference.
You could easily point to the slow-motion footage, the lost and sorrowful expression on his face and the mournful piano music playing in the background as signs this is a heavily-orchestrated and narcissistic PR stunt.
Some would even say Paul is using the issue of suicide in an attempt to salvage his career.
Logan Paul is a fake motherfucker who is using suicide to save his career. He disgusts me and the people who fall for this shit disgust me even more.
— Jordan Coombe (@Jordan_Coombe) January 24, 2018
I don’t know man. Logan Paul’s return seems to be a little too on the nose for it to feel genuine at all. I got in trouble for being insensitive to suicide so now I’m going to be a mascot for suicide prevention with my first video back? Seems legit … I guess ?
— TryHardNinja (@TryHardNinja) January 25, 2018
Whether you think the video is genuine or not, Paul still has other questionable behaviour he’s not apologised for or even responded to.
What about the disrespect he showed to Japanese society? His sexual objectification of women in the music video of his song No Handlebars? Then we had those tweets which saw people accuse him of being racist.
He’s repeatedly behaved in unacceptable ways in the past so will he really dramatically change, just like that?
Logan Paul donating a million dollars to suicide prevention is a fantastic first step, now we just need to see if he will change as a person for the better from here on out.
Also, can we get an apology for the disrespect he showed to Japanese society? That’s all we want. K thnx.
— Joey (@TheAn1meMan) January 24, 2018
— Silla Fromm (@Silla_Fromm) January 25, 2018
Paul filmed the dead body of a suicide victim. It was a simple decision he didn’t even think twice about.
That decision, along with the previous controversies, show this is just how he behaves. He’s acted like this his entire career.
It wasn’t just the one mistake and time will tell if he’s changed?
The problem doesn’t stop here. In fact, it’s only just started.
Please remember: If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone.
Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phoneline on 116 132.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.