Logan Paul has been in hiding since his Japan suicide forest video. People have wondered where he’s been, what he’s been doing, and when he’ll be back on YouTube.
His brother and fellow YouTube megastar Jake Paul has given us the long-awaited update.
Except not really. Jake Paul titled the video “YouTube, Let’s Talk About Brother Logan Paul,” but in the end dedicated just two minutes to addressing “the elephant in the room.” Most of it was him saying that Logan is truly sorry, and that Jake should know, because he knows Logan better than anybody. He “knows” everything really—that Logan didn’t mean to offend anyone, that he could tell Logan was truly in shock, and that Logan is a “strong” person, as if that means anything.
It’s the type of self-serving surface level crap you’d expect. Paul says he waited more than three weeks to comment about his brother to let the situation breathe. But it’s disappointing that after so much time he couldn’t offer any substance. He could have discussed the need for caution when posting things online or the dangers of taking “real life” footage too far. He could have discussed the gravity of depression or the importance of talking to someone if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts. Instead, his viewers got two minutes of “my brother is sorry, suicide is bad, but he’s a strong person, he’ll be back soon.”
The real intent here seems obvious. After apologizing, Logan Paul pledged $1 million to suicide prevention and is now back on YouTube. He’s too profitable and popular not to be. Those facts make Jake Paul’s “statement” about it all the more glib. He’s not talking about his brother because he has any actual thoughts to share. He’s talking about it because his proximity to the situation obligates him to.
It’s no surprise that Jake Paul didn’t string together a thoughtful soliloquy about mental illness or editorial oversight. This is the same dude that shills a garbage $64 course that “teaches” you how to become a social media influencer. But given the blatant way he exploits kids wasting time on the internet, we should expect more from him.
Paul isn’t an idiot. He just plays one on YouTube. He knows that every cut, every joke callback and every merchandise plug matters. He understands how deeply he’s connected with his fans. Kids hang on his every word. They buy his clothing. They visit his house.
His life is devoted to making content for his viewers. Despite projecting a frivolous attitude, Jake Paul’s YouTube persona is something he cares about deeply. We should also expect him to care about something that matters.