As has been discussed, 22-year-old Logan Paul received a good deal of backlash after using social media to post a video of a deceased man, who committed suicide, hanging from a tree. He visited a location in Japan that is aptly known as the Suicide Forest. Aokigahara, the proper name of the aforementioned forest, is widely believed to be the most popular place in the country to commit suicide.
As a result of the backlash, YouTube decided to punish Logan by no longer featuring Logan’s videos as part of the “preferred program”, a move that could cost Logan many thousands—if not millions—of dollars over the long run. Simply put, YouTube was not happy with Logan’s decision to post his reaction to seeing the body and laughing about it.
Now, the prankster vlogger—who happens to have roughly 15 million fans—is facing a potentially far more serious punishment as a direct result of his ill-advised decision.
Like YouTube and a good portion of the internet, police in Japan are not at all happy with Logan, and they may actually charge him with several misdemeanors. He apparently committed at least four separate misdemeanors during the course of making and posting his video. The video, by the way, was seen by over 6 million people before it was finally taken down.
According to police, the unedited 15-minute video demonstrates evidence of traffic violations, destruction of property, interference of business operations, and public indecency.
To be clear, the video that has Logan in trouble is a compilation video made while in Japan, in which he does things like smash video game systems at a game store and throw “Pokeballs” at cars and pedestrians. At the beginning of the video, he makes a comment about how he needs to respect the culture of Japan, but he clearly does not do so.
Chasing people with raw fish and then later putting that fish on the hood of a vehicle are not respectful things to do, Logan!
One detective went so far as to say that there hasn’t been a dumber criminal since people uploaded a video of themselves stealing cigarettes after bullying a clerk at a convenience store.
Another agent of law enforcement stated that Logan clearly broke the law, and by posting a video of his doing so, he was setting a bad example for his many YouTube fans and followers. As the officer put it, even if his actions were done as a prank, there was property damage, people were bothered, and their work was obstructed. The officer went so far as to call Logan a “pain in the ass”.
It is pretty foolish to upload a video of yourself breaking the law; in Logan’s defense, however, he probably didn’t know he was committing a crime. Probably.
At this moment, Logan apparently hasn’t responded to the charges made by officials in Japan. Whether or not Japanese police will follow up and actually charge Logan with anything at all is unknown at this time; regardless, he should probably reconsider any future trips to Japan he may have in the works. Even if Logan is charged by Japanese police, it seems highly unlikely that the United States or anywhere else would extradite him over misdemeanor charges.
Critics have even called for Logan to be forbidden from returning to Japan. It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing occurred, after all. Back in 2010, well-known socialite Paris Hilton wasn’t allowed into Japan due to drug charges. She was denied entry into the country at the airport in Tokyo. Japan has pretty strict laws about not allowing people who have been convicted of drug-related charges into the country, and Paris Hilton had pleaded guilty to one in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Even members of the rock band The Rolling Stones weren’t allowed into Japan for many years because of drug convictions.
Logan Paul did apologize for the suicide-related video, and the apology video was viewed by around 40 million people. He also offered a written apology. In the video apology, he admitted that he handled the power he has as a vlogger improperly, promising such a thing would never happen again. Is Logan Paul truly contrite, or just trying to save his own skin? Chances are that only he truly knows for sure.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
When the backlash initially occurred, Logan claimed he posted the “suicide video” in order to raise awareness of the very serious issue that is suicide. Of course, all things considered, you may question how sincere he was being. He was wearing a Toy Story hat in the video, after all.
So Logan hasn’t responded to the whole “Japanese charges” issue, but he has apparently decided to take time off from his vlogging to do a bit of reflection. However, his father has taken to the internet to let us all know that his son will “be back”.
The father, Greg Paul, used the social media platform Instagram to call anyone who disagreed with his son’s actions “haters”, pointing out the obvious fact that we all mess up once in a while. As Greg Paul put it: “That’s life!!” He expressed his love for his sons while stating that he doesn’t agree with everything they do, and they don’t agree with everything he does.
He also said in his Instagram video that if “the haters” knew how much “love was out there” for his son, they would shut their mouths.
Greg Paul is right, at least in the sense that we all do foolish things once in a while. There’s a difference, however, between a foolish action and a criminal one. Furthermore, most of us aren’t insensitive enough to post flippant videos about genuine tragedies.
Also, most criminals are wise enough not to post videos of their crimes for the whole internet to see.