Earlier this year, Logan Paul shocked fans by posting a video of "suicide forest" in Japan including a human body hanging from a tree. The YouTuber — with over 15 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 has returned to YouTube with a suicide prevention PSA, and a pledge to donate $1 million to suicide charities.
"It's time to start a new chapter in my life as I continue to educate both myself and others on suicide," said Logan in the intense video, which also features doctors, statistics, and suicide survivor Kevin Hines. The video could definitely be very beneficial to Logan's young viewers, offering advice to both people who are suicidal and those who want to help. However, many fans were angry that Logan still seemed to be focusing on himself in all this, with quotes like "I'm here to have a hard conversation so those who are suffering can have easier ones," and a montage of news stories talking about him.
"We get treated to a precisely formed and deliberately manipulative piece of content from your PR machine to show us you care," said YouTuber Jammy. "Hey Logan. You're not solving a real issue when you address the one thing you just happened to get caught about. You're just covering your ass." Meanwhile, Darcie Wilder wrote, "it's wild how Logan Paul is really showing how much he truly, authentically, deeply cares about making money."
However, he did regain the respect of some of his peers. Casey Neistat tweeted, ".@LoganPaul has a long way to go and people are right to continue to question his motives but today's video was a thoughtful first step. Hopefully this is part of a true effort to move on from sensationalist content."
Days earlier, TMZ caught up with the star to ask him if he thinks he deserves a second chance. To which Logan simply replied, "Everyone deserves second chances, bro." He then continued to say that he's learned "everything… so many things" from the recent events. But, brand and reputation expert Eric Schiffer exclusively revealed to In Touch that a comeback might not be as simple as Logan thinks. "The days of 'I'm sorry' are over. The days of reading from his teleprompter apology are over — and this should be a wake-up call to all viral stars, who are probably shaken based on what they saw with Logan Paul — that you can be amazingly big and within an instant, because of bad judgement, you can destroy your brand."
So, what will this said comeback consist of you ask? The Internet personality alluded to the fact that it will have to do with fashion. He pointed to the hoodie he was wearing hinting that fans should already know what to expect. Logan has a fashion line — Maverick by Logan Paul — that it looks like he will be focusing on in light of his recent video controversy.
Logan's father, Greg, also thought his son deserved a return to the spotlight. "Logan is coming back, that is a definite," Greg said in a recent Instagram video. "If the haters knew how much love and support was out there, they'd shut their freakin' mouths." He captioned the post, "Face it folks……. we all f–k up at one time or another. That’s life!! What we do with those mistakes, bad judgement or whatever term you give it, is what matters. I love my boys and I am sooo proud of them."
But, perhaps the question shouldn't have been "When is Logan Paul coming back?" Maybe we should have been asking "Should Logan Paul come back?" His video was serious and the young star has quite a lot of influence over his young viewers. One fan tweeted, "1st chance: Don't record dead body. 2nd chance: Don't edit dead body into video. 3rd chance: Don't upload video. F–k Logan Paul." Another added, "If Logan Paul wants a second chance, he needs to earn it. Nobody “deserves” a second chance. You work for it. Go apologise to the family. Donate to suicide prevention and mental health charities. Don’t give a half arsed apology and then expect everyone to forgive you. Childish." Only time will tell if his PSA video and generous donation will be enough to win back the fans he lost.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.