[Updated December 6, 2018] It seems everybody has been talking about Indonesian Youtuber Qory over the past couple of days after he “pulled a Logan Paul” by filming a dead body in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest (popularly known as suicide forest) and posting the video on Youtube.
Outrage against the vlogger went viral in and of itself, to the point that world-famous Youtuber Daniel Keem aka Keemstar, creator and host of the Youtube drama show DramaAlert, also criticized Qory’s video (after reading our story, no less).
Have we learned nothing???????????? pic.twitter.com/TG2i1xDHUt
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) December 5, 2018
Amid all the internet outrage leveled against Qory, his suicide forest video is no longer available on his channel, Qorygore, as seen here:
Youtube removed the video yesterday for violating the platform’s community guidelines amid many calls by netizens to report the video.
Though Qory made it clear he was emulating Logan Paul in his suicide forest video, he did not follow Paul’s example by deleting his own video after the huge controversy erupted.
Qory hasn’t published an official statement or apology on his Youtube channel or his social media accounts. But he appeared on fellow Youtuber Eno Bening’s podcast yesterday to clarify some things regarding the video.
In the podcast, Qory told Eno that he had a permit to film in the forest and was even allowed to film dead bodies if he found any. He even went as far as to imply that the dead body in his video, which was blurred, might not have even been authentic.
“It was a pile covered by a raincoat like a pocong (Indonesian ghost). Because I respected the dead body, I didn’t get really close to him,” Qory said, adding that he didn’t cut out the part where he discovered the body/pile because he wanted to “trigger” his audience.
Another Youtuber who appeared with Qory in the video, Ewing HD, also posted a clarification video. Unlike Qory, he apologized for any offence caused by the video, while also pointing out that he still struggles with mental health issues.
Qory, who is (or perhaps was) a popular gaming Youtuber and aspiring rapper, made no attempt to hide the fact that he was trying to emulate Paul in the infamous video, even saying at the beginning, “No dead bodies, no fun”, implying that his main intention was to find the bodies of suicide victims.
When Qory finally got his wish and found a dead body (which was blurred in the video), he said, “I went all the way to Japan. This is Logan Paul 2.0” before he and his friends continued to make jokes about the dead body.
On December 31 of last year, Paul posted the now-infamous video that apparently served as Qory’s inspiration. In it, he and a couple of friends explored Aokigahara and filmed their discovery of a dead body. After getting widespread criticism and calls that he be banned altogether, Youtube canceled and put on hold some of the projects they had in the works with the scandal-hit social media star.
Instead of ending his career as a Youtube star, Paul’s suicide forest scandal ultimately seemed to do little to hurt his celebrity or profitability. In fact it probably helped. Despite his viewership numbers dropping substantially after the controversy, Paul’s earnings have actually reportedly increased to US$14.5 million between June 2017 and June 2018 — up 16 percent year on year — the majority of it still coming from Youtube ads.
So as awful as it was, one can understand at some level why Qory would seek to emulate Paul. But hopefully his video being taken down and all of the ensuing backlash will prevent the next would-be suicide forest exploiter from even considering it.
UPDATE: Qory has released an apology/clarification video, saying that he apologized for his “persona on Youtube”. Echoing what he said in Eno’s podcast, Qory mentioned that there was no “authentic evidence of dead bodies” in his Aokigahara exploration video.
“Even if it was legal for me to record the dead body, I respected it,” Qory said.