Good Morning America (GMA), a popular American morning television show, aired an interview today that it had with popular YouTube star, Logan Paul. Michael Strahan sat down with Logan to talk about his controversial video that he posted back in January. If you’re unaware of the video and the controversy it caused, here’s the rundown. Logan filmed his visit to the Aokigahara Forest in which he showed the body of a man who had committed suicide. After posting that video, he received enormous backlash from many people, deeming his video offensive and disrespectful. He apologized twice, since many believed his first apology was forced, and took a break from posting content on YouTube. He recently returned, announcing a new project titled “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow” in which he talks about meeting with different people who have attempted to take their own life as a way to educate himself on the issue.
This morning, GMA aired the interview they did with Logan, which was the first time that he had spoken out about everything. However, it seems as if the entire video was staged, with the intent to make Logan seem like the victim. This isn’t the first time that GMA has done something like this. A few years ago, they conducted and interview with popular YouTube star Jenna Marbles, which was meant to serve as a talk on the rise of having a career as a YouTuber. But when the interview aired, it made Jenna look completely unprofessional and seem as if she didn’t have an idea as to what a legitimate career really was.
The interview that GMA did was between Michael Strahan and Logan. Anyone could see that this was the perfect interview for Logan, since most of the questions that Michael asked were soft. You’d expect GMA to ask hard-hitting questions, since this has been one of the biggest stories of the year so far. But sadly, that wasn’t the case. The questions that Logan was asked seemed like they were supposed to make him come out as the victim. If that’s the case, Logan clearly dominated and won this interview.
There are several points of the interview that I want to highlight:
1. Logan starts off by saying that people have been sending so much hate towards his way. He told Michael that “people have literally told me to kill myself.” If this is true, which I’m sure it is, it works perfectly in Logan’s favor. He’s being judged for doing something horrible by being told to go kill him. Not just that, but he thinks that what these people are saying is fair. This makes him look like the victim, even if he did do something wrong. I’ll have to hand it to him, this is a good use of pathos.
2. Michael later goes on to ask Logan if, at the moment the video he posted, he thought it was a good idea. Logan says, “Yeah, my point was to shock people. The idea was to show the harsh realities of suicide, which is something that not that many people are talking about.” The conversation continues, but at no point does Michael ask any other questions about this.
3. Logan later says that he makes his videos for entertainment and for himself. “It’s odd, because I’m 22 years old and it’s not like I’m making content for kids. I cuss in my videos sometimes and make inappropriate jokes. I want to make jokes that people my age will laugh at.”
4. When asked about if he thinks parents should monitor what their kids watch, Logan replies, “Yeah, I think they should.” Logan also claimed that he spoke with some of the parents of the younger kids who watch his content, and asked them, “You let your kids watch my content” to which they reply, “Yeah, what else am I going to do?”
5. Michael later asked him about being taken off of Google’s Preferred Section, which is a feature that Google implements on certain popular YouTube channels that helps them get their video’s to the trending page, obtain more ads, and other benefits. To that, Logan says, “While I don’t agree with being dropped from Google Preferred, I respect the decision.”
6. Lastly, and this is something that I found extremely interesting, Logan says that this all happened for a reason. “This happened for a reason. And I believe that reason is so I could take this experience, learn from it, and spread the message the right way on suicide prevention and awareness.”
It’s important to discuss and break down what was said during the interview. First of all, him saying that he did this as a way to shock people and get them to talk about suicide is stupid. There are many organizations like To Write Love in Her Arms that advocate for suicide prevention, among other issues. This isn’t a valid excuse. You can’t claim to say you’re teaching someone about suicide prevention by filming a dead body. Not just that, but the fact that Michael chose not ask further questions on this is insane. At least he has those football trophies to keep him happy.
Logan claims that he makes his videos for entertainment, targeting people around his age and making jokes that they’ll like. Well, I can tell you that I’m also 22 and cannot stand any of his content. I’m willing to be any person that’s around my age would agree with me. Also, for a creator as big as him has access to video analytics. With these analytics, people are able to see the demographics of viewers, including what age groups watch their videos. Other YouTubers have talked about this in their own videos or interviews. So, when he says that he’s not making content for kids but rather for himself as entertainment, he’s aware that the audience that’s consuming his videos are younger. And he still posted the video knowing full well who’d watch it first. Also, him declaring that he talks to the parents of younger kids is him putting the blame on them and not on himself. While there is some blame to be put on parents for allowing their kids to watch this, he’s definitely not innocent.
His comment on being taken out of the Google Preferred section is something that stuck with me the most. He claims that he’s not worried that he won’t make money from his content, since he knows he’ll still get views. He made that well-known from his first apology, but it’s backed up by the fact that he still continues to make money from the videos he’s already posted. He’s making money from a video titled “Faking My Own Death Prank” where he pretends to kill himself in front of his fans. Had Michael or any of the GMA team done any sort of actual journalism of research, they would’ve asked questions. Meanwhile, YouTubers who are speaking on important issues or making content talking about their struggles get demonetized. That makes sense, right YouTube?
His point on that this happened for a reason is what upset me the most. In his own words, he’s claiming that the man in the video committed suicide so that Logan Paul could find him so that he could spread awareness on suicide prevention. Even writing this is upsetting. He’s not some savior, he’s not even someone who I’d see advocating for awareness on this issue.
Overall, I do stand by my opinion that Logan Paul won this interview. He managed to come out of the interview a lot better than when he went in. I wouldn’t be surprised if by this time next year, he found himself at the top of YouTube once again. But one thing’s for sure: he did not walk out of this as a better person who will “think twice before posting anything.” Just look at the comment he left on Cardi B’s recent Instagram picture:
But hey, at least we were able to believe what a “good guy” he was for a few hours. Right?
If you want to check out the entire interview, click HERE.