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11th Jan 2018

YouTube cuts ties with Logan Paul over ‘suicide forest’ video

Conor Heneghan

YouTube has cut business ties with the vlogger in the wake of the controversy over the recent ‘suicide forest’ video from Japan.

11 days after a controversial video of a ‘suicide forest’ in Japan was uploaded to the video-sharing website, YouTube has decided to cut business ties with popular vlogger Logan Paul.

A day after finally releasing a statement on the matter, a statement which mentioned the possibility of “further consequences” for Logan Paul, YouTube has decided to cut business ties with the 22-year old and cancelled plans to feature him in upcoming YouTube projects.

YouTube announced on Wednesday that Paul has been removed from the Google Preferred programme, which gives brands access to the top 5% of creators on the platform for ad-selling.

Furthermore, a number of projects that Paul had been due to feature in on YouTube Red, a YouTube subscription service, have been put on hold.

“In light of recent events, we have decided to remove Logan Paul’s channels from Google Preferred,” a YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement (via Billboard).

“Additionally, we will not feature Logan in season four of ‘Foursome’ and his new Originals are on hold.”

Paul received a huge backlash after uploading a video on New Year’s Eve that he shot in Aokigahara, a noted ‘suicide forest’ in Japan where an average of 105 people die each year.

Paul, who apologised for his actions, later cited an attempt to raise awareness regarding mental health and suicide.

He was subsequently criticised, with filmmaker and actor Anna Akana arguing: “That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.”

Earlier this week, YouTube belatedly weighed in on the matter, penning an open letter to the YouTube community, in which it acknowledged the public’s frustration at the service’s “lack of communication”, noted its upset over the video and promised to take steps “to ensure a video like this is never circulated again”.