The shady side of Logan Paul

YouTuber Logan Paul has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons recently. But those who've been following the Ohio-born bro's career from the beginning know full well that he's actually no stranger to controversy. He and his younger brother Jake first made names for themselves on the now defunct video sharing app Vine before shifting to YouTube, bringing the millions of fans they amassed with them. 

Jake has been known to court controversy of his own–he was fired from Disney channel show Bizaardvark because of his online antics)–and up until recently was seen as the worst of the two siblings in terms of his behavior. That all changed with Logan's latest vlogs, which have not only made him the most hated of the two Paul brothers, but probably one of the most hated YouTubers period. Sadly, everything you've read about him lately is just the tip of the iceberg. Let's take a look at the shady side of Logan Paul, starting with his most recent and disastrous blowup.

The Suicide Forest video

Paul's biggest controversy to date revolves around Japan's Aokigahara Forest, more commonly known as the Suicide Forest. This large wooded area in the shadow of Mount Fuji is the location of numerous suicides every year, though to come across such a thing you would have to leave the clearly marked paths and enter the restricted area. Of course, Paul didn't think twice about ignoring the warnings and stepped off the path in search of a body, cameras rolling the whole time. He found one, and—in a move that has already cost him his Google ad deal and YouTube Red projects—he decided to include it in his vlog.

Paul claimed that his intentions were to raise awareness and he prefaced the video with a warning about graphic content, although the disclaimer was completely pointless as he used the image of the hanging man (with only his face blurred) in the thumbnail. The YouTube star talked about suicide and depression for a moment, but he and his friends couldn't help but laugh.

The outrage was practically instantaneous, not only in YouTube circles but in the mainstream media. Breaking Bad actor and namesake Aaron Paul called the vlogger "pure trash" and said that he could "rot in hell", while Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner tore into him and his apology for being insincere. "You're an idiot," she tweeted at him. "You're not raising awareness. You're mocking. I can't believe how self-praising your 'apology' is. You don't deserve the success (views) you have."

It wasn't the only disrespectful thing he did in Japan

Sadly, filming the body of a recently deceased local wasn't the only disrespectful thing that Paul did on his ill-fated visit to Japan. In the vlogs he uploaded prior to the Suicide Forest video, the American jokingly claimed that he was going to be mindful of Japanese culture and do his best not to offend anyone…before dressing up in a traditional kimono and running around the streets of Tokyo shouting at the top of lungs like a madman. He walks around offering people fresh fish and octopus, smashes a retro Game Boy on a shop floor before trying to return it, and throws Pokeballs at random people.

"It's just disgusting, and people should be angry about it," one passerby told Asian Boss, who took to the streets of Tokyo to get the Japanese public's reaction to the footage. "Even the Pokemon part, where he throws Pokeballs at people—filming a video is fine, but causing trouble for people is not acceptable." 

According to actor Jimmy Wong, this isn't the first time that Paul has been racist towards Asians. The actor posted some screenshots of past jokes that the social media influencer had made on Twitter, all of which are derogatory in nature and in bad taste.

His fans are making it worse

A torrent of reaction videos discussing Paul's Suicide Forest vlog flooded YouTube in the days after he posted it, with everyone from smaller content creators to the platform's biggest star PewDiePie sharing their opinion on what he did. The popular Swede's reaction video has more than 20 million views at the time of writing, but he gets so many comments that insults from the Logang can easily get lost in the noise. When you're running a smaller channel and the trolls come after you, however, it's a whole lot harder to ignore.

Japan-born voice actor and YouTuber Reina Scully found this out the hard way when she gave her two cents on the situation. In her video, Scully said that Paul's decision to film in the forest was "sick" and that Aokigahara "is not a tourist attraction just because the internet glorified it." Paul actually asked his fans not to defend his actions in his second apology, but some of them are ignoring his pleas and going after those who are denouncing his actions, using racist and offensive language in the process.

Scully posted NSFW screenshots depicting some of the comments she had received, which are shocking and offensive in their language, to say the least. Unfortunately this was not an isolated incident—musician and YouTuber Jeffree Star has been bombarded with homophobic abuse after harshly criticizing Paul and questioning his sincerity.

Of course, this was far from the first time he's made waves for his online antics.

He treats his assistants like garbage

It isn't unusual for big YouTubers like Paul to have assistants. But what is unusual is the way in which he treats them. His longtime right-hand-woman Ayla Woodruff used to be a regular in Paul's vlogs before they parted ways, and the treatment she was subjected to in those videos would probably be enough for a lawsuit in any other type of workplace. Paul made a habit of smashing stuff right in front of Woodruff to scare her, just for laughs. The pair were rumored to be romantically involved at one stage, which, if true, makes his behavior even more questionable.

Woodruff eventually moved on to greener pastures, though surprisingly it wasn't by choice–at least, if you believe Paul's account of how things went down. The YouTuber claimed to have fired her, announcing the news to his fans in a blunt tweet: "I replaced my assistant with a newer, better assistant," he wrote. "Go watch new vlog." According to Woodruff, the decision was a mutual one but Paul simply couldn't face admitting as much on his channel. 

"It's no hard feelings," Woodruff said (via TrendingAllDay). "I'm super excited for him to have a new assistant and to get it straight, he will not admit this in the vlog, he did not fire me."

He's been accused of animal cruelty

Paul's current assistant Lydia Kenney hasn't exactly had it easy, either. She lost her temper with her blond-haired boss after he decided to let his dog Kong loose in his yard and filmed her trying to catch it. The Pomeranian managed to escape the grounds of Paul's Hollywood home and found its way into the street outside, infuriating Kenney as well as a number of people who watched the video. This is just one instance of Paul misusing his pets (he also has a parrot and used to have a fish—it only lasted a few days in his care) in his vlogs.

In another video (embedded above), Paul introduced the tiny dog to a baby tiger, scaring the pup out of its fluffy skin in the process. He also used the poor dog in a risky stunt, placing it inside a bucket and ziplining it from the roof of his house. "If that dog falls, it's crushed," fellow YouTuber Markie said of the dangerous stunt. "It's a tiny dog, it's legs are going to be broken one million percent." His treatment of animals was so questionable it inspired a petition, which aims to gather enough signatures to make YouTube investigate Paul's treatment of animals.

He faked his own murder in front of fans

Paul set a YouTube record in 2017, reaching 10 million subscribers faster than any other creator in the platform's history. His rise to the upper echelons of YouTube has been nothing short of meteoric, though he has used some undeniably shady tactics to get there, including faking his own murder. That's right: one day in March 2017, his fans turned out in numbers only to be tricked into thinking their idol had been shot in the head.

"What I'm about to do today is wrong but, at the same time, it's so right," Paul states at the beginning of the vlog, embedded above. He goes on to procure what appears to be a real shotgun, though in actual fact all it's capable of is shooting paintballs. Not that those watching the stunt from below knew that, as some of their reactions showed. Shock rippled through the crowd of youngsters after Paul's masked friend came up behind him and shot the window with red paint, giving the impression that the YouTuber had just had his brains blown out.

The fake beef with his brother

The fight between the Paul brothers was a big event on YouTube in 2017, as their prominent part in YouTube Rewind proved. The pair come face to face in the website's annual summary video before turning to the camera and laughing the whole thing off with cheeky grins, which was pretty much confirmation that they fabricated the whole thing. What's wrong with that, you might ask? Well, when you're talking about YouTubers with followings the size of the Paul brothers, a fake drama like this can generate a lot of views, and views equal cash.

It all began when Jake made a diss track about his ex-girlfriend Alissa Violet, which Logan apparently didn't like. He responded with a diss track of his own, though the song cut off halfway through and Logan explained that the second verse was just "too real" to release. The brothers briefly made up but of course the second verse wound up coming out anyway, and even Violet herself got in on the action, mocking Jake alongside friend and well-known YouTuber RiceGum in yet another diss track. Confused? 

Suffice it to say they pretended to fall out and made a bunch of money in the process. "Everyone involved has probably made tens of thousands of dollars from ad revenue product placements," WeTheUnicorns estimated. And all in the name of totally fabricated drama.

The "No Handlebars" controversy

Paul released yet another song in November 2017, though this one wasn't aimed at his little brother. "No Handlebars" sampled popular Flobots track "Handlebars" without permission from the artists, and the Colorado-based alt-rap band were less than pleased about being associated with Paul. The group's frontman and lead MC Jamie 'Jonny 5' Laurie was quick to respond after hearing the unauthorized version, calling the YouTuber the face of "douchebag entitlement" in an interview with Westword.

It wasn't the fact that Paul sampled their track without asking them that really annoyed the group, however–it was the sexist lyrics and accompanying video (he literally rides women like bicycles in it) that made them speak out against the YouTuber. On their official Twitter account, Flobots questioned the logic of releasing such a song in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal gripping Los Angeles, the city in which Paul lives.

In another tweet, they warned fans who were thinking about paying homage to them not to "indulge in rampant misogyny and tone def douchebaggery."

He stole the name of his clothing brand

Paul is constantly pushing his clothing line Maverick by Logan Paul in his vlogs, though, unfortunately for him, that name was already taken. Worse, the guys who got there first are absolutely furious at the YouTuber. The outrage caused by Paul's Japan vlogs has had a devastating knock-on effect for the similarly named Maverick Apparel, who have seen their numbers plummet because people are a mistaking them for Paul's shop.

"Maverick Apparel has noticed a rapid and significant decline in its sales, reputation, and goodwill of the Maverick Apparel brand as a direct result of your repulsive, abhorrent and mutton-headed conduct," they said in a letter to Paul (via TeenVogue). "In choosing to promulgate yourself and your maw-wallop across social media and champion yourself as an object of ridicule, hatred, and contempt, you have simultaneously infected the good name of Maverick Apparel."

The kids clothing company also said that Paul's name is "synonymous with racist, anti-Asian, and homophobic sentiments, and most recently, a belligerent insensitivity to suicide." According to TMZ, the boisterous 22-year-old has already cost the unlucky business as much as $4 million and the word is that they plan to take legal action if Paul doesn't stop using the name.