A Japanese vlogger is facing racist attacks for criticizing YouTube celebrity Logan Paul’s recent “dead body” video, which showed disturbing footage of an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s Aokigahara forest.
The vlogger, who goes by the name Reina Scully, posted a video citing Paul’s past disrespect of Japanese people and explaining why his clip, which showed him laughing near the unidentified body, was so offensive.
Scully, who’s known for her anime reviews, soon faced a barrage of insults from Paul’s fans. She shared a collection of the remarks, which include racist slurs and profanities, on Twitter, receiving more than 6,000 retweets within a day:
“Ching Chang Chung. Shut the fuck up you suicide faggots. Let the japs kill themselves ... LOGANG for LIFE,” one commenter wrote.
Another Paul fan commented, “You bitch you don’t have the right to talk about him, you fucking peaces of shit you are just using his name for clickbait fuck you bitch.”
In addition to highlighting how dangerously and insensitively Paul handled the subject of suicide, Scully mentions in her video that she’s seen other vlogs of Paul in Japan that suggest he thinks of Japanese people as “caricatures” rather than human beings.
“As a Japanese national citizen who grew up in the U.S. with a green card, there were a lot of times where I was treated as though I was really tiny and I was a child,” she said. “It’s definitely because I’m foreign. ... It’s definitely alarming in the worst of ways, and after watching some clips of Logan Paul’s other blogs in Japan ... there’s a sliver of what I used to experience of how people used to talk down to me because I was foreign.”
She added that while Aokigahara, which has gained notoriety as the site of many suicides, has been featured in a variety of internet content, it isn’t a tourist destination and shouldn’t be portrayed as such.
“It’s one of our sins, and the internet is glorifying one of our darkest issues,” she said.
Paul issued an apology after the outcry, saying he was unprepared to encounter a body in the forest. “What we came across in the woods that day was obviously unplanned,” he said, later adding, “I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down.”
But Scully said in her video that she doesn’t buy that. Though Paul said he didn’t know how to react to the body in the moment, Scully pointed out that it doesn’t account for his decision to share the video later. She also called for YouTube to take action.
“I refuse to accept that as any kind of reasoning whatsoever. Everyone has their videos edited, especially him, who obviously has a whole team working behind his production,” Scully said. “You decide to put that out there. That is the power that YouTube gives us, and you took that power away from yourself by using it as an excuse as to why this all went down. You have no sense of responsibility.”
Though many Paul fans attacked Scully, she also received an outpouring of support, including from several fellow YouTubers. Some people agreed that Paul has long made insensitive comments toward Asians and other people of color. Actor Jimmy Wong shared a series of tweets from Paul about black and Asian genitalia and his references to Asians as “little.”
YouTube told HuffPost in a statement that it had issued a Community Guidelines strike to Paul’s channel. When a user has a strike on the account, they may not have access to some YouTube features. However, strikes are not permanent and expire after three months.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video,” the company said in a statement. “YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated.”
This story has been updated with a statement from YouTube.