The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Logan Paul

Love him or hate him, it’s undeniable that Logan Paul does one thing very, very well: being entertaining.

And Paul knows that better than anyone. It is perhaps why, at the peak of his career, he seemed to believe that it didn’t matter what he did as long as it was entertaining.

That attitude led to his downfall. But his innate ability to entertain may also have helped this controversial creator bounce back from what would have surely been a career-ending crisis for any of his peers.

Today, we’re exploring the meteoric rise, dramatic public downfall, and resurrection of Logan Paul. Let’s dive in.


Do it for the Vine

Do you remember Vine? Sure you do. While Vine was short-lived, the platform catapulted countless creators to success, including Logan Paul and his brother Jake.

The pair amassed huge followings thanks to their viral comedic sketches and successfully made the jump over to YouTube once Vine officially shut down.

But it wasn’t Paul’s comedic prowess alone that captured audiences’ attention. It was clear from the start that he had a keen understanding of what his target audience wanted to see. Perhaps more importantly, he wasn’t afraid to give it to them.

Riding the rollercoaster…. All the way to the bottom

By 2017, Paul was one of YouTube’s biggest creators and had landed himself countless brand deals, media opportunities, and sponsorships thanks to his engaging personality and up-for-anything attitude.

It was beginning to seem that Logan Paul was unstoppable. But then he made a series of very questionable – and very serious – missteps. Including one that changed the trajectory of his career forever: the Aokigahara Forest vlog.

So, what happened

If you have an interest in internet history, you’ll remember where you were when news erupted that Paul uploaded that video in Japan's Aokigahara Forest.

What happened was simple: Logan and his crew visited the area known as the ‘Suicide Forest’ in 2017, where they filmed the body of a suicide victim while making jokes — and then uploaded the footage to YouTube as part of a vlog.

Facing the consequences

The backlash was immediate, severe, and deserved, with audiences, brands, and YouTube itself holding Paul to account. While Paul was known for his irreverence, he’d pushed things too far this time and was called out for being disrespectful, insensitive, and unthinking.

Here are just a few of the consequences Paul faced:

  • Reputational damage. Paul faced backlash from his fans and the general public, with many rethinking their support of his channel. This led to a mix of unfollows, lower engagement, and reputational damage that follows him to this day.
  • Pulled brand deals. Many of the brands Paul had been lucky enough to secure deals with pulled their support, including Mountain Dew.
  • Lost opportunities. Paul missed out on many opportunities for future growth and income during this period. YouTube not only temporarily removed Paul from its Google Preferred program, but put his YouTube Red series Foursome and the sequel to his movie The Thinning on hold.
  • Scrutiny of the broader influencer community. This incident opened up a bigger conversation about influencer culture, including the ethics of anything-for-views content. As scrutiny of influencer behavior increased, the landscape of content creation forever changed.

Getting back on track

Everyone thought this was the end of Logan Paul. Like any good YouTuber, Paul quickly uploaded several apologies, which did little to improve public sentiment. But his story was far from over.

In the years since the forest incident, Paul has managed to claw his way back into people’s good graces. Between the launch of his ongoing (and brilliantly named) podcast, Impaulsive with Logan Paul, his successful wrestling career, and the creation of Prime (yes, the drink company), Paul is perhaps even bigger now than he was before.

Here’s how he bounced back from his public downfall:

  • – He accepts his reputation. Paul knows that accepting that his reputation will never fully recover is his best option. So, he talks openly about his mistakes and owns them. In a world of excuses and tearful YouTuber apologies, this is a breath of fresh air for many.
  • He’s shown a different side of himself. Paul was 22 when he experienced his fall from grace — not a child by any stretch of the imagination, but young enough to have had time to experience genuine personal growth. He’s slowly worked towards rebuilding trust in his brand by showcasing a more mature, disciplined, and sensitive side of himself.
  • He’s diversified his content. By moving away from sensationalist antics and towards content centered on his business endeavors, fights, and personal life (he recently got engaged and has a baby on the way), Paul has reinvented himself.
  • He uses his platform for good. In the years since his scandal, Paul has generated millions of dollars for charity through amateur boxing matches with fellow creators and by advocating for mental health awareness.

A case study in the volatility of fame

If Logan Paul’s journey from award-winning content creator to public enemy number one and back again has taught us anything, it’s this:

Having an innate ability to entertain and connect people around the world is a double-edged sword. It can at once win you huge success and deliver you to ruin — if you’re not careful.

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