The decision by Blackpills to cut ties with Paul comes after the popular YouTuber posted a video during his trip to Japan on Dec. 31 that included footage of a person who had apparently died from a suicide — and Paul joking about it. After a widespread backlash, Paul deleted the video and apologized. That didn’t stem the tide of criticism and on Wednesday YouTube suspended its business deals with Paul.
Under the Blackpills deal, Paul had been tapped to create, write and star in a short-form original series for the mobile-focused service.
“Logan Paul’s previously announced project with Blackpills is no longer in development and Blackpills will not be pursuing it at any time in the future,” the company said in a statement to Variety.
A rep for Logan Paul did not respond to a request for comment.
Paul is represented by CAA and remains a client, a rep confirmed. He’s also affiliated with Studio71, which did not respond to requests for comment about its deal with the 22-year-old influencer.
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Paul’s series with Blackpills had been slated to launch in early 2018 exclusively on the Blackpills app. It was being executive produced by Paolo Moreno of Cupertino Productions; no title, cast or other details of the project had been released. The pact between Logan Paul and Blackpills was originally reached in late 2016.
Paris-based Blackpills has been trying to boost its profile since launching its app in the U.S. last spring, hoping to attract an audience with edgy content delving into themes including sexual health, violence, digital privacy, and racial diversity. The company has ordered shows from partners including Zoe Cassavetes, James Franco, Bryan Singer, Christian Delgrosso, Denise Richards and Anonymous Content.
On Wednesday, YouTube said it was removing the digital influencer’s channel from its Google Preferred premium advertising program. In addition, the video platform said he would not be featured in season 4 of YouTube Red original comedy “Foursome,” and that his other originals were on hold.
Meanwhile, Studio71 has produced two seasons of “Logan Paul Vs,” a reality series in which he engages in challenges (like training with Hollywood stuntmen), for Comcast’s Watchable digital-video service. The series also launched last fall on Facebook’s Watch platform. He also made an appearance on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”
Paul, who originally rose to internet fame on Twitter’s now-defunct Vine, currently has about 15.7 million subscribers for his YouTube channel, 16.6 million followers on Facebook, 16.2 million on Instagram, and 4.1 million on Twitter.
In apologizing for his video showing the dead body in Japan’s Aokigahara forest (known as the “Suicide Forest”), Paul said “I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment and I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize.” He also said his reactions to the dead body were “raw and unfiltered,” and that he regretted recording and posting the video.
On Jan. 3, Paul tweeted that he was taking a hiatus from posting content on YouTube.