YouTuber Logan Paul is speaking out for the first time since posting a controversial video showing the body of a suicide victim in Japan. In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America, the 22-year-old — who has since deleted the video, apologized, and created a suicide prevention video — said posting the clip was a "horrible lapse in judgment."
"It's been tough because ironically I'm being told to commit suicide myself. Millions of people, literally, telling me they hate me, to go die in a fire. The most horrible, horrific things," Logan told GMA of the criticism he's received. He added, "This has been the hardest time in my life. I've never been hated by the whole world. It's been something to definitely overcome. I will think twice about what I post from now on."
So sorry. pic.twitter.com/JkYXzYsrLX— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
Logan — who boasts nearly 16 million subscribers on YouTube — came under fire last month for posting the graphic video in Aokigahara, a forest at Mount Fuji’s base that is often referred to as "suicide forest" due to the high number of suicides that occur there. He titled it, "The most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel."
In an interview with In Touch exclusively, reputation expert Eric Schiffer said the social media star — who also donated $1 million to suicide prevention — made his comeback too soon. "He should have never made the video. Period. If you're gonna give money, give money. You don't need to broadcast it. Do the work behind the scenes. Be real. Be organic," he explained. "I think what people want to see is that he really got the message. Yes, it's great that a million dollars is going to these important organizations, but what also matters is that there's a sustainable set of actions that he's doing that really show remorse."
However, he went on to explain that through true acts of compassion — and a decent amount of time — Logan should be able to leave the past in the past. "Look, it's like he's gone to the Donald Trump school of media relations. You're witnessing the single greatest meltdown of a viral star in this century, and it's not the kiss of death for him. But he needs to find his humanity and sustain it."
"It’s not like I'm a bad guy," Logan said. "I'm a good guy who made a bad decision."
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.