For all of Logan Paul’s apologizing — first in a written note and now in a follow-up video — he still doesn’t get how apologies work.
The 22-year-old YouTube star was the target of harsh criticism after he posted a video from Japan’s Aokigahara forest, where hundreds of suicides occur every year. The video — which was beamed out to Paul’s 15 million YouTube subscribers — featured imagery of one apparent suicide victim with their face blurred out.
The video was met by immediate blowback for its graphic images and tone. Paul’s fan base tends to be mostly young people.
Paul expressed remorse for sharing the video in a written apology on Monday night, and he followed it up with a Tuesday video that struck a similar tone.
He says at the start of the video: “I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment and I don’t expect to be forgiven; I’m simply here to apologize.”
He devotes the rest of the 2-minute clip explaining his reaction in the Aokigahara video — “raw [and] unfiltered” — and running through a list of apology recipients, from “the internet” to “anyone who has been affected or touched by mental illness or depression or suicide.”
He even spares a few words of apology for “the victim and his family,” and — in one of the video’s only on-target utterances — takes a brief moment to admonish those fans who have taken to defending him: “Please don’t. I do not deserve to be defended.”
Missing from Paul’s apology is making people aware of services like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which provides free and confidential around-the-clock support for people in distress and/or their loved ones. He ought to be pointing at organizations like Take This, which works to raise awareness around mental health issues and reduce the stigma that often follows them.