Earlier this year, Logan Paul shocked fans by posting a video of "suicide forest" in Japan, which included a human body hanging from a tree. The YouTuber — with over 16 million subscribers — faced immediate backlash for not only posting the footage but for also making light of suicide. Three weeks after the controversy, the 22-year-old vlogger returned to the platform with a suicide prevention PSA and a pledge to donate $1 million to suicide charities. But was it too soon? Celebrity reputation expert, Eric Schiffer, weighs in on his return to the spotlight.
"Logan Paul should have stayed absolutely, completely dark and in a no WiFi cave somewhere off the grid," Eric tells In Touch exclusively. "He's too toxically radioactive to do a re-entry now. My suggestion is to wait six months. Let time be his best friend."
Unfortunately, the star was too anxious to wait — and Eric says he went about it all wrong. "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 explains. "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."
In the seven-minute video — which has garnered nearly 18 million views — fans accuse the YouTuber of only posting the clip to save his reputation, which Eric admits is probably true. "I think the probabilities are that he's doing this for tactical purposes, but he also may feel some level of remorse," Eric says. "Would he have given a million dollars to suicide prevention had this not happened? Absolutely not."
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."
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.