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YouTube’s Logan Paul is making a documentary about suicide forest video controversy

YouTube vlogger Logan Paul is making a documentary about his life and the year since his controversial Aokigahara ‘suicide forest’ video attracted significant backlash.

In a 20-minute July 4, 2018 post, the YouTube vlogger revealed that he is making a film about what’s happened to him in the past year, as well as exploring his upbringing.

The 23-year-old said: ‘I’m actually filming a documentary about everything that’s happened this year, all the stuff that went down in January, where I was at in my life and kind of the psyche of what actually happened.’

YouTube vlogger Logan Paul is making a documentary about his life and the year since his controversial Aokigahara ‘suicide forest’ video attracted backlash

The vlog also showed clips of him visiting his old high school and talking to the school wrestling team, of which he was a member.

‘I visited the high school wrestling team. Gave a little speech to the kids,’ he said, adding: ‘Look, bottom line is kids nowadays need inspiration. They need people to look up to, people to motivate them’.

However, for many people, Logan Paul may not be the most appropriate role model, especially given that the documentary is at least in part in response to the criticism to his ‘suicide forest’ video that was released at the end of 2017.

On December 31, 2017, Paul uploaded a video called, ‘We found a dead body’, which showed Paul and a group of friends going to the Aokigahara forest in Japan and stumbling across a dead person hanging from a tree. 

The forest is known as a ‘suicide forest’ due to its historical association with ghosts in Japanese mythology.

It ‘is known as a place where many people choose to commit suicide’, Karen Nakamura, an anthropology professor at Berkeley, told CNN.

Paul’s response to seeing the body and the decision to share the video online sparked intense backlash. 

Celebrities rounded on him, YouTube pulled him from its preferred ad partner platform and dropped him from several Red projects.

Paul apologised twice for the video, once with a screenshot of an iPhone note and a recorded video.

However, even that attracted criticism after it was reported that Paul set the apology video, which has now garnered over 40 million views, to be monetised, meaning he earned money from it. 

Vice estimates that Paul made as much as $20,000 from the apology video. 

The new documentary, clips of which were shown in Paul’s latest vlog, will, as the vlogger said, deal with the fallout from this ‘stuff that went down in January’, but also delve into Paul’s background and childhood.

However, as Polygon points out, YouTube documentaries are becoming more and more prevalent, allowing YouTube celebrities to not only grow their audiences and project a more introspective and thoughtful persona, but also to control the narrative, avoiding external criticism and dealing with issues of the creator’s choosing only.

The outlet points out that fellow YouTuber KSI—who is actually scheduled to fight Logan Paul in Manchester in August in an amateur boxing fight—is also making a documentary. 

Focusing on KSI’s interest in boxing and sports, it will be released two weeks before the big fight.


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