In the days since YouTube star Logan Paul faced outrage after posting a video mocking a suicide victim, he has actually gained subscribers to his YouTube channel.
The controversy, which generated enormous backlash, grew his channel by more than 80,000 subscribers in just a week.
Paul uploaded the video on Dec. 31 showing a man who had recently hung himself with the title “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…”
In the video he films close ups of the man’s body and hands. About 48 hours after posting the video Paul removed it and issued his first apology in which he included emoji and a hashtag.
Top stars in the YouTube community condemned Paul’s behavior.
“I’m truly sickened by this logan paul situation. i lost my brother to suicide... my brother took his own life by hanging himself... how insensitive and sick can you be to film someone in that state,” said YouTuber Corinna Kopf.
“Dear Logan Paul, How dare you! You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you,” actor Aaron Paul (no relation) tweeted. “So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.”
Others pointed to the fact that Paul is regularly offensive and borderline racist on his channel.
Throughout his recent trip in Japan Paul posted videos running around wearing a traditional Japanese rice hat and robe, holding his hands in a mock prayer position then throws Poké Balls at Japanese people shouting “I choose you.”
He also destroyed a Game Boy Color at a store then declared that it was “much-o broken-o” and referred to Tokyo as a “real live cartoon.”
Japanese YouTuber Reina Scully spoke out against Paul’s offensive behavior saying that it was unacceptable to treat human beings like “caricatures.” She said Paul’s content was “alarming in the worst of ways.”
Paul has had a history of posting racist comments to Twitter as well. In 2012 he tweeted, “Watermelon makes your penis bigger ― black men. Soy increases the estrogen in your body, decreasing penis size ― asians.”
On Jan. 2 Paul posted another apology, this time in video form. He also announced that he was going to take a break from vlogging.
A Change.org petition to remove Logan Paul from YouTube that has been circulating last week has nearly 300,000 supporters. Unfortunately, that pales in comparison to Paul’s over 15 million subscribers on YouTube.
Drama fuels views on YouTube and the controversy is unlikely to cause Paul any long term damage. Most of the way Paul makes money is by running ads on his videos which generate millions of views from his fans, and selling merchandise to his dedicated supporters.
YouTube is also unlikely to punish him in any long-term way because it has a vested interest on keeping him, and his audience of millions, on the platform.
As YouTuber Philip DeFranco said on Twitter, “Just remember this… His core audience doesn’t give a fuuuuuuck. Unless youtube does something, this doesn’t hurt him.”