According to 'Mind', 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. If, like me, you've been part of that statistic at some point in your life you will know that some people still have awful attitudes towards mental health problems. I should say that I think attitudes are vastly improving and, in my experience, most people won't give a negative response if you talk about mental health. However, many of us will still have experienced ignorance from people on the subject. It could be anything from the self confessed 'expert' who over diagnoses themselves to the person who says depressed people just need to 'cheer up'.
I remember being in a university seminar where mental health problems were being discussed and one woman loudly mocked the issue. I know her words and tone will have affected people in that room who had personal experiences on the subject. Therefore, I can only imagine how the family of a suicide victim must have felt when they saw that Youtuber, Logan Paul, had made an incredibly insensitive video about their newly deceased family member.
In the video, Logan Paul visits the Aokigahara forest in Japan which is known for being a place where unusual amounts of people commit suicide. For what should obviously be a sensitive video, Logan sets his tone straight away by choosing to wear this,
Yep, a hat with one of the Aliens from 'Toy Story' and a Gucci jacket which he proudly tells the camera, "If I'm gonna get haunted by a ghost I'm gonna do it in my fucking Gucci jacket, I wanna look good". Keep in mind, this is literally as he is about to enter a forest where he knows people regularly take their own life. Still, you shouldn't judge someone on their clothes, I'm sure his behaviour will show more consideration and maturity...right? Not at all. He is laughing and joking the whole way, including when discovering and standing near the body of a recently deceased suicide victim. There are the odd moments of seriousness thrown in but they lose all credibility when alongside all the footage of him being completely inconsiderate.
The mainstream media have largely focused on a moment when he approaches the body and says, "What, you never stand next to a dead guy?" before laughing. However, there are so many other moments such as when someone politely tells him it's a restricted area and he responds with, "You told us a little too late bro, we've seen a little too much already." whilst laughing. One part I found particularly disturbing was when he says to a little girl, "Don't go over there." with a grin on his face whilst pointing to the location of the dead body. The little girl he says this to is of a similar age to large parts of his fan base. I know this because I'm a year six teacher and many of the kids in my class regularly talk about him, quote him and ask if we can watch his videos. Yeah, I know.
After receiving a huge amount of backlash from the mainstream media, other YouTubers and large numbers of the internet community, Logan Paul did what many others have done before and released an apology video. This can be risky because if you come across as insincere or say the wrong thing, you can just make it worse. For me, the response video that I most agreed with was this one by YouTuber, True Geordie. He puts it much better than I ever could.