A controversial past and a new career: Who is Logan Paul?

Content warning: This story includes discussion of suicide that may be distressing to some readers.

For young people, the name 'Logan Paul' is familiar. Old YouTube videos come to mind, along with a number of questionable actions on his part. Others perhaps now only know him thanks to his boxing and WWE wrestler career.

But for many, they remain a little confused as for why Logan Paul is all across Aussie headlines at the moment.

In the mid-2010s, Logan Paul rose to fame online and became a YouTube star alongside his brother Jake Paul — each sibling commanding a millions-strong army of adoring fans, many of whom were adolescents.

Their content was bizarre at best — doing crazy stunts with little to no safety precautions, making silly (sometimes extremely ignorant jokes), and anything that would garner attention. Add it together with fast-paced editing and slick production, and they quickly became some of the most popular YouTubers to date.

Forbes has named Logan Paul the highest-paid Youtuber three times, in 2017, 2018, and 2021 — his net worth is currently estimated to be well over $45 million.

His brother Jake Paul, has his own set of controversies. But for Logan Paul, arguably the biggest controversy occurred on New Year's Day in 2018 when he posted a vlog-style video to YouTube of him visiting a Japanese 'suicide forest'.

And it led to him being cancelled online.

Watch Logan Paul speak about the Japanese 'suicide forest' controversy. Story continues below.


Video via ABC News.

He posted to Twitter in the lead-up to the video saying: "Tomorrow's vlog will be the craziest and most real video I've ever uploaded."

Paul and a group of friends were in Aokigahara, a forest at the base of Mount Fuji, anecdotally nicknamed the "suicide forest" because of the large number of people who go there to end their lives.

The video he posted to YouTube of the forest showed the body of someone who had ended their life. Within one day, the video had over six million views.

The backlash was swift and warranted, and the vlog was later taken off YouTube.

In an apology, Paul said: "This is a first for me. I've never faced criticism like this before, because I've never made a mistake like this before. I'm surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I'm still a human being. I can be wrong."


He added he "didn't do it for views" saying: "I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought 'if this video saves just ONE life, it'll be worth it', I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video. I still am."

But the criticism remained.

And following on, Paul's content on YouTube remained in a similar vein — shock jock videos made for clicks and to create outrage. Just a few weeks later, he posted a video of himself tasering two dead rats. YouTube temporarily suspended ads on his videos but they were reinstated a month later.

Reflecting on that time, Paul later said to the BBC: "Two years ago, it burned me out and changed my character. It made me someone that I wasn't because I was chasing views and likes and subscribers."

It wasn't the only controversy associated with Paul.


He's previously been criticised for saying he would "go gay for a month", LGBTQIA+ organisations saying his comment propagated the misconception that homosexuality is a choice.

An older video of his also resurfaced when he and fellow YouTuber Sam Pepper lassoed women on the street and forced them to kiss each guy. 

Following on from it all, Paul went on to start a podcast, Impaulsive, and also kick-started a boxing career. And despite many thinking it wouldn't last, Paul has managed to secure some credibility in the boxing world.


In June 2021, Paul even boxed against Floyd Merewether. No official winner was read, instead labelling it a tie.

"Boxing is by far one of the best things to happen to my life," Paul said. "Boxing has definitely allowed me to focus on something other than just creating content which I think we've seen historically can be so toxic. It made me human again."

And boxing is why you're seeing Paul in headlines across Australia. He and his Victoria's Secret model girlfriend Nina Agdal are in Perth for a sold-out UFC event.

Paul isn't signed to UFC as a fighter, but rather signed a deal for his new sports drink product business 'Prime' to be the new "hydration drink" for the UFC. It is co-founded with KSI, who is an English YouTuber, rapper and boxer.

And fans were very excited to see the pair this weekend.


But yet another controversy has emerged for Paul.


Recently, he had to issue an apology after asking fans to invest in his cryptocurrency game, CryptoZoo.

He reportedly encouraged fans to buy cryptocurrency collectables for what he called a "really fun game that makes you money", promoting the game over a year ago. But no such game has materialised, leaving many to assume Paul had abandoned the project and his investors had lost out on their money.

Paul said he wants to "make this right".

"I will be taking accountability, apologising, and coming forward with a plan in the future… I know it's been bumpy, but your support is everything to me and I will make this right."

Today Paul has over 23 million subscribers on YouTube, which he still often posts content to. But now, Paul said the lessons learned have been pivotal.

"I've had a career full of ups and downs, successes and failures," he said. "But I take everything that I do - the learnings and the understandings - and I apply it to the next thing I do and move forward."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Instagram/YouTube/Getty/Mamamia.

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