Although Logan Paul was stripped of his Google Preferred status and had his current projects put on hold last week, officials from YouTube can’t say for sure that they won’t work with the disgraced star again.
Paul came under heavy scrutiny on New Year’s Eve, when he posted a video titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese suicide forest.” The video showed Paul and his friends entering a restricted area of the Aokigahara forest near Mt. Fuji in Japan, which is infamous for the number of suicides that have been committed there. Paul and his friends found a body, recorded close up shots of it, made comments and even jokes about the tragedy on camera.
On Tuesday, YouTube announced that Paul would not be appearing in season 4 of their original series Foursome, or the upcoming thriller The Thinning. All of the original content Paul was developing with YouTube Red has also been indefinitely stalled.
However, when asked about Paul at the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, couldn’t say for sure that they’d never work with Paul again.
“We don’t know,” Kyncl said. “I couldn’t really answer that. Everything is evolving so fast and the best thing we can do is make sure we put all projects on hold indefinitely.”
Kyncl went on to point out that, despite the insensitivity of Paul’s video, and even his first apology, the 22-year-old has displayed remorse for his mistake.
“Actions should speak louder than words. Logan has the opportunity to prove that,” Kyncl said.
Kyncl believes that Paul has learned from the whole experience, and won’t write him off altogether.
“Specifically as to Logan,” he said, “I think, obviously, we believe he’s made missteps, unfortunate missteps. He’s expressed remorse very quickly. And uh, is learning from the experience.”
In addition to criticizing Paul, many felt that YouTube’s response to the scandal was poorly handled from start to finish. The streaming platform was extremely slow to respond, and even approved the video for their trending list after six million views. Paul himself deleted the ill-advised video, not YouTube. Many pop culture pundits maintain that Paul’s apologies are are hollow and he’s more upset about having been scolded than anything else.
However, Paul’s die-hard fans continue to support him in comment sections across the Internet, despite his request that they not do so. Paul maintains a substantial audience, especially among younger teens, so it makes sense that YouTube is so hesitant to completely disavow the young YouTuber.