(ABC News) YouTube has finally released a statement about star Logan Paul's controversial video posted last month, which included images of a body of someone who had apparently killed themselves in Japan's “suicide forest,” apologizing for the company's lack of communication during the week-long outrage.
The statement, which was tweeted from YouTube's main account on Tuesday, comes one week after Paul shared the video with his 15 million subscribers. In the release, the company expressed that it was upset about the video, stating, “Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views.”
YouTube acknowledged that it had taken a long time to respond, but said they had been listening to everyone's comments. The statement also indicated there may be changes in YouTube policies.
“We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we'll have more to share soon on steps we're taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again,” the statement reads.
On Jan. 3, three days after posting the video, Paul announced on Twitter that he was stepping away from posting videos “for now,” and “taking time to reflect.”
A petition on Change.org that demanded his YouTube channel be deleted had over 450,000 signatures Wednesday morning.
The controversy began when Paul posted a video Dec. 31 of him in Aokigahara, a forest near Mount Fuji, Japan, known colloquially as the "suicide forest," showing what appeared to be a body hanging from a tree.
The video was viewed 6 million times before being removed from Paul's YouTube channel.
Criticism followed despite two apologies by the star, one on Twitter and another by YouTube video.
In Paul's first apology, he said he had wanted to raise awareness about suicide, and denied he was being controversial in order to promote his social media content.
"I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity," he said in his Twitter post.
"I don't expect to be forgiven. I'm simply here to apologize," he said on the more somber video apology uploaded on YouTube and Twitter Jan. 2. "None of us knew how to react or how to feel."