Comment Writer Holly Pittaway discusses how recent cold weather has made some people vulnerable, and what the government can do to prevent thisWritten by Redbrick on 18th March 2018
Ignorance Cannot Be Blamed for Logan Paul’s Deplorable Video
Comment Editor Alex Goodwin denounces YouTuber Logan Paul's exploitation and ignorance of mental health issues
22-year-old YouTuber Logan Paul caused a stir over social media this week after uploading a video of a man that had committed suicide.
The location in question was Aokigahara, also known as ‘the suicide forest’ or ‘the sea of trees,’ which resides in Japan at the base of Mount Fuji. It is famous for the volumes of individuals that wander into the forest every year, with the intention of ending their lives. If you stray from the path, it is near impossible to find your way out of the trees, with no signal for phones or GPS reaching the forest’s ground.
The video features Paul and his friends (illegally) camping in the forest and eventually stumbling upon a man that had hanged himself.
Most normal, compassionate humans would turn the camera off at this point, but Paul continues filming, and whilst initially appearing shocked and stunned, Paul states suicide is a serious issue.
“Logan Paul, along with his wealthy white male privilege, has made apparent the disgusting ignorance of mental health within society
However, the YouTuber continues on with his vlog, with things turning from bad to worse. The star begins laughing and joking about the dead individual. After moving up very close to the body (with only the man’s face blurred), one of the friends states he ‘doesn’t feel good,’ to which Paul replies, whilst laughing ‘what dude, you never stand next to a dead guy?’
As a journalist and a social sciences student, I am rarely lost for words, but in this situation, I am beyond a level of disgusted to even know where to begin.
However, let's start with this; Logan Paul, along with his wealthy white male privilege, has made apparent the disgusting ignorance of mental health within society.
I myself suffer from depression. This illness has meant I have had to take a leave of absence from my degree; it means I have spent much time in hospitals and doctors surgeries, and it means I start my day with 50mg of anti-depressants. However, I am lucky enough not to be an individual that has lost their life to such a devastating disease.
A man was desperate enough to end his life, despite what it would do to his family and loved ones, which is so devastatingly sad it is beyond comprehension. Yet, a young man thought he could make money, upon his already accumulated millions, and deemed it appropriate to blast this awful situation over the internet, to his young audience.
Paul claims the video was about raising awareness of mental illness. Excuse my language, but what a load of bullshit. At no point does he show sorrow, regret or even respect for the victim, nor does he once consider the victim’s family.
“Ignorance is not an excuse anymore
Even his apology via Twitter was a bundle of unforgiving narcissism. Instead of condemning his actions and attempting to right his wrongs, he instead manifests a few paragraphs of ‘I’s and ‘Me’s that asks his fans to understand he is human, and that just this once, he used his platform inappropriately. At no point does he attempt to aid individuals suffering from mental illness or those triggered by this video.
Logan Paul is not sorry for what he did, he is sorry it received negative backlash. Mental illness is already difficult enough to discuss in an open manner, as there is still huge stigma attached to the subject, and now, after witnessing a young man using the illness as a way to make money and ‘have a laugh,’ conversations of mental health will be further hindered.
Logan Paul should not be granted a platform of influence. Ignorance is not an excuse anymore. Educate yourself. If you have over 15 million followers, all of whom are probably young, you cannot plead dumb to the third biggest cause of death amongst the younger generations.
Here’s to 2018; the year we stop idolising idiotic YouTubers and attempt to learn and empathise with illnesses and conditions that we may not be fully able to personally comprehend.