Logan Paul, the disgraced 22-year-old vlogger and artist behind “Santa Diss Track,” is really doing overtime to get his career back on track after milking a “suicide forest” in Japan for content. To kick off the new year, the elder Paul filmed his entourage stumbling upon a dead body and soon uploaded it to YouTube. People were mad. On Wednesday, he returned to YouTube after a nearly three-week hiatus with a somber mini-documentary entitled “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow.”
It’s really something; in between close-ups of Paul pensively staring into the abyss, sitting by some streams, and reaching out to dogs, he interviews a number of experts, including the director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and one suicide attempt survivor. While it’s a noble slice of damage control—slightly more convincing than his glassy-eyed apology video from three weeks ago—the whole tone is hilariously out of character for a guy who was playing real life Pokémon Go in Japan just weeks prior.
Here’s an interaction between Paul (italics) and Bob Forrest of the Alo House Recovery Center (a Malibu-based addiction treatment center), who doesn’t buy that the YouTube star really knew nothing about suicide awareness before the controversial video went live:
I was shocked to discover just how big this is.
You’ve never known anybody that killed themselves?
No, that was part of the problem, just my ignorance on the subject.
But in Ohio, where you come from, it’s the second leading cause of death.
The seven-minute clip sure feels like a community service assignment from his publicist or YouTube, which had temporarily put their collaborative projects with Paul on hold. It’s unclear if this is enough to get him back in the vlogging community’s good graces—let’s be honest, it has to be—but we’ll find out if his career as an Extremely Online person picks back up again. Before then, you can soak up this latest slice of Paul content, which unintentionally hits that beautiful sweet spot between Sacha Baron Cohen’s character in Borat and a substitute teacher who’s clumsily learning on the job.