YouTuber: ‘Hated by whole world’

ONE month ago, YouTube star Logan Paul decided to film, edit and post a video of himself and a group of friends laughing at a dead body in Japan's Aokigahara forest - a place notorious for suicides.

Paul's video sat on his YouTube channel for hours, amassing hundreds of thousands of likes and more than six million views.

It wasn't until the backlash from mainstream media and celebrities reached fever-pitch that the 22-year-old decided to issue a public apology and delete the video.

Paul, once known as YouTube's 'golden boy' was slammed the world over.

Now, the 22-year-old has finally broken his silence about what it meant to be "hated by the whole world" for the past month.

Sitting down with Good Morning America host Michael Strahan, Paul said the backlash was "horrific".

"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," Paul said.

"So you don't feel like the criticism has been fair?" Strahan asked him.

After a second's hesitation, Paul admitted: "That's the thing. I do".

Logan Paul was told to kill himself after his suicide video.
Logan Paul was told to kill himself after his suicide video.

After two weeks of inaction from YouTube, the star was eventually punished by the streaming platform, of which he was one of the top earners.

He was dropped from Google Preferred, an aggregation of YouTube's top content given to advertisers, and from all of his upcoming projects with YouTube Red, the platform's premium streaming service.

"I understand that they needed to take a stance and while I don't necessarily, maybe, agree with it, I do respect it," he told Strahan.

The morning show host then asked Paul, who made $15.6 million last year, if Google's punishment "hurt him" financially.

"You want to know the real answer? It hurts but it's not like I'm drowning. I try not to live my life thinking about money because money doesn't make me happy. Creating and making other people happy makes me happy," he said.

The video in question, uploaded on New Year's Eve, featured Paul and a few friends walking into Japan's "suicide" forest and stumbling on a dead body.

They then zoomed in on the dead man, filming his purple hands and his wallet sitting on the ground.

The 22-year-old in the jokey video filmed at the suicide forest.
The 22-year-old in the jokey video filmed at the suicide forest.

But Paul said their entry into the notorious forest wasn't about finding a dead body.

"The idea was to just do another fun vlog, go camp for a night and make an entertaining piece of content in a forest, and things obviously changed pretty drastically and quickly," he said.

Strahan asked Paul about the many stages he went through - filming, editing and then uploading it - and why no alarm bells went off.

"The idea was to shock and show the harsh realities of suicide and get people talking about something that I don't think people are talking about much and still that's the goal today," he responded.

Paul, who originally became famous for prank and stunt videos on Vine, moved to YouTube a year ago, taking with him his millions of followers - most of whom are pre-teen. His fanbase, nicknamed the Logang, are as young as 10 years old.

And the YouTube star knows this. When he isn't modelling his clothing line Maverick himself, little kids often are.

Despite that, Paul told Strahan he isn't making content "necessarily for kids".

"It's odd, Michael, because I'm 22 years old, it's not like I'm making content necessarily for kids," he said.

"Sometimes I cuss, sometimes I make inappropriate jokes. I want to make jokes that kids my age are going to like. I have my own demographic.

"Now, I will say, I am much more aware of the impacts my actions have on myself and others."

The 22-year-old said mistakes aside, he's "not a bad guy", but in fact, "I'm a good guy who made a bad decision."

Since the firestorm surrounding Paul seems to have settled, the YouTube star told Strahan he's learnt a valuable lesson.

"One thing I'm learning that actually pertains to me is that crisis passes. Crisis passes man, and for anyone suffering, I think it's important to know that.

"You are not alone and for me, why I say this is important for me is that this has honestly been the hardest time of my life.

"I've never been hated by the whole world and it's been something to definitely overcome. I will think twice about what I post in the future, probably three times.

"I don't think everyone should get a second chance," he concluded. "Some people do horrible things. This was a horrible lapse of judgment and I can, will and am going to learn from it and be a better person."



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