In the video, Mr Paul and his friends visit a Japanese forest famous for the number of suicides that occur within its bounds. The group appears to accidentally stumble upon the body of a man who has killed himself, his body still hanging from the tree.
The group films their stunned reactions. At one point, Mr Paul laughs in apparent disbelief. At another, he jokes about having never stood next to a dead body.
Many fans of the YouTube celebrity, who boasts more than 15m subscribers, responded to the video with outrage. Viewers accused him of making light of the situation, and using the shocking footage to gain followers. Mr Paul eventually deleted the video and issued a written apology.
On Tuesday, Mr Paul posted a video apology as well. He apologised for what he called a lapse in judgement, and vowed to “be better”.
“I should have never posted the video,” he said. “I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through. There's a lot of things I should have done differently but I didn't. And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.”
Read the full apology below.
I made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgement, and I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologise.
What we came across in the woods that day was obviously unplanned. The reactions you saw on tape were raw; they were unfiltered. None of us knew how to react or how to feel. I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through.
There's a lot of things I should have done differently but I didn't. And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.
I want to apologise to the internet. I want to apologise to anyone who has seen the video. I want to apologise to anyone who has been affected or touched by mental illness, or depression, or suicide. But most importantly I want to apologise to the victim and his family.
For my fans who are defending my actions, please don't. I don’t deserve to be defended. My goal with my content is always to entertain; to push the boundaries, to be all-inclusive. In the world live in, I share almost everything I do. The intent is never to be heartless, cruel, or malicious.
Like I said I made a huge mistake. I don’t expect to be forgiven, I’m just here to apologise.
Im ashamed of myself. I’m disappointed in myself. And I promise to be better. I will be better. Thank you.