PASADENA, Calif. — Logan Paul, the 22-year-old YouTube vlogger who posted a video from Japan’s Aokigahara Forest showing a corpse hanging from a tree, isn’t facing a permanent ban from his former perks on the streaming video-sharing website.
At least not yet.
“We’ve put all his projects on hold, and we’ll see in the future” what happens with Paul, Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube, told reporters Saturday during the Television Critics Association’s winter meetings.
Besides being removed from two YouTube Red projects, Paul was also pulled from the Google Preferred advertising platform, though Forbes.com reports that he can still expect to make millions this year. (YouTube Red is a paid subscription streaming service offering scripted and unscripted series and movies.)
The furor over Paul is hardly the first for YouTube, which last fall had to deal with gamer Felix Kjellberg — known as PewDiePie — using a racial slur in a video. But it goes to the heart of a dilemma for the service, which built its audience on the expectation of its contributors’ creative freedom, but whose business requires it to be sensitive to the concerns of advertisers.
“Some of them are very young, and sometimes get themselves in hot water,” Kyncl said of contributors. “I want to make sure that a few missteps don’t spoil” things for its other creators.
“We believe he’s made missteps, unfortunate missteps,” he said of Paul.
As for whether YouTube would be interested in again partnering with Paul in the future, “I couldn’t really answer that. Everything is evolving so fast,” he said, including YouTube’s community guidelines.
“YouTube manages the largest set of partners of any company in the world,” ranging from young people trying to get started “all the way to Disney,” Kyncl said. “Of course we don’t like to see any missteps, and when we see them, we move to correct them.”
Paul, who has 15 million subscribers to his YouTube videos, hasn’t uploaded a daily video since since Jan. 2, when he posted an apology.