The Problem with Logan Paul

A mere day into the new year, a controversial video rocked the internet. YouTube supergiant Logan Paul posted a vlog about his trip to Japan. While there, he took his camera team into the Aokigahara forest, more well known as the infamous “suicide forest.” In the forest, Paul and his crew found the body of a man who had apparently hanged himself. Paul proceeded to shove his camera’s into the man’s face, laughing and making jokes about the situation.

The video was edited and uploaded to YouTube with the title “WE FOUND A DEAD BODY IN THE SUICIDE FOREST!!!!” The thumbnail featured Paul’s face and the body of the man. The backlash was immediate and extreme, viewers criticizing Paul for his disrespect and cruelty. After a few days, the video was taken down and YouTube gave Paul’s channel a strike. Three strikes on a channel means a permanent suspension. Paul also lost many sponsors, including one with Disney, and lost his YouTube RED shows and movie deals.

Paul posted an apology video citing a “severe and continuous lapse in judgment” and took a month long hiatus. He returned to YouTube on February 7 with a video of him using a taser on dead rats.

So what does all this mean?

Firstly, it means that Logan Paul has learned absolutely nothing. He continues to prove that he lacks any common sense or basic human decency. He has a complete and utter disregard and disrespect for death and refuses to take responsibility for his mistakes. Paul seems to believe that he has done nothing wrong and doesn’t understand the ‘haters.’

Secondly, this behavior is dangerous. Serious issues like suicide and animal abuse should never be joked about, much less posted on the internet for millions of impressionable young viewers to see. Early signs of sociopathy is apathy or humor towards death and many notable serial killers began by torturing small animals. This behavior has to be taken seriously.

And thirdly, Logan Paul is a perfect representation of what happens when we let these kinds of things get out of control.

This 22 year old man has no authority and discipline in his life. He has never been told ‘no.’ He has never experienced the hardships he jokes about. He has never had to worry about money. He lives in a mansion making silly videos for preteens that rake in millions of dollars a year. There’s nothing wrong with making a career out of YouTube, but now he thinks he answers to no one. Logan Paul lacks the self awareness to realize that he has been extraordinarily lucky.

Following the video with the dead rats, Paul faced even more backlash, especially from the animal rights organization PETA. YouTube has also suspended ad revenue on Paul’s account, meaning he won’t be making any money from YouTube for a while. This is a good sign; this behavior cannot go unchecked. YouTube has been hesitant to punish Paul because he brings them so much money, but it’s good that they’re starting to place their morals above their bottom line.

We, as a society, also need to question why we made people like Logan Paul famous and confront the reality of the culture that created him. We need to teach basic respect and love to all people and we need to stop giving bullies a platform. We need to send the message that no matter who you are, cruelty will never be funny.