YouTube star Logan Paul has made an emotional apology after sharing a video of a dead man hanging in a Japanese forest.
Paul’s video was met with outrage after it was posted on his YouTube channel on Sunday. The video reportedly showed Paul making jokes about a dead body hanging from a tree in the Aokigahara forest, near Mount Fuji.
According to reports, the body is shown in several close-ups with only the face blurred out.
The 22-year-old, who has over 15 million YouTube subscribers, posted an apology on Twitter, acknowledging that he should never have posted the video and confessing to “a severe and continuous lapse” in judgement.
“From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry,” he said. “I want to apologise to anyone who has seen the video. I want to apologise to anyone who has been affected or touched by mental illness or depression or suicide, but most importantly I want to apologise to the victim and his family.
“For my fans who are defending my actions, please don’t – they do not deserve to be defended.”
The video was uploaded on Sunday and had millions of views on YouTube before it was taken down.
Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the developed world and its Aokigahara forest is well known as a location for people taking their own lives.
Signs are posted throughout the forest urging people to seek medical help rather than commit suicide. The number of deaths there each year is not made public, to avoid publicising the site.
Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul was one of a number of people to criticise the video, messaging Paul on Twitter, “You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you.”