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Logan Paul on racism in America: 'It's incomprehensible'

·West Coast Correspondent
·4 min read
In this article:
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While YouTuber Logan Paul recently grabbed headlines for accepting an invite to fight on WWE SmackDown, he opened up in a new Yahoo Finance interview about his expanding platform, addressing white privilege, and racism. 

In an interview with Yahoo Finance Presents, Paul acknowledged that as a 26-year-old white creator with over 100 million followers across his social channels, he feels the responsibility to be on the side of the solution, not the problem when it comes to white privilege and racism.

"I know when to speak up about something when I feel it— when I really feel it...because the whole idea of racism makes no sense to me," Paul said, in an interview that comes at a time when many, including those in the business community, have denounced racism. "It's incomprehensible. My brain cannot compute." 

Starting as a creator on the now-defunct Vine, known for its quippy, comical six-second videos, he is best known as a YouTuber (GOOG, GOOGL), where he makes "crazy daily vlogs." But in the last two years, Paul, who famously said "good luck trying to cancel me," finds himself in a nation and world ignited with a renewed reckoning for racial justice.

'Sick of the inequality'

The YouTuber's latest comments about racism come amid a backlash over a new voting law in Georgia that's been criticized as a tool to disenfranchise Black voters. After initially remaining silent on the law, business leaders at Georgia-based corporations Delta (DAL) and Coca-Cola (KO) finally denounced the measure.

Paul's comments also come during the emotional trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of a Black man named George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests last summer.

Last July, during the height of Black Lives Matter protests, Paul tweeted a video of himself saying: "It's not enough to be not racist. You have to be anti-racist. You have to hold your friends, family, yourself accountable and use your privilege."

When asked exactly how he was using his privilege to address racism, he said, "I'm just sick of the inequality. And I really do feel that way. And so, yeah, any time I can use my platform to speak up about it from a place that comes from within, like, I try to do so."

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 30:  Logan Paul looks on after his brother, Jake Paul, defeated AnEsonGib in a first round knockout during their fight at Meridian at Island Gardens on January 30, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 30: Logan Paul looks on after his brother, Jake Paul, defeated AnEsonGib in a first round knockout during their fight at Meridian at Island Gardens on January 30, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Paul, known for his brash and bombastic style, has faced his fair share of controversy for being insensitive and callous. He first faced a torrent of scrutiny when he posted a YouTube video of a dead body in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, which is often referred to as the "suicide forest." 

The controversy led to wider implications for Google and in part sparked a larger conversation around disturbing and harmful content for children. Paul posted apologies on Twitter, claiming he posted the video "to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention." Since then, Paul has continued to find himself in hot water, fueling the dangerous trend of teens and young adults eating Tide Pods and getting kicked out of Yosemite National Park. 

Despite all of the outrage through the years, Paul has managed to amass more followers and clout. He has parlayed his influence and reach as a video creator into the worlds of boxing, betting, clothing, crypto, podcasts, Pokémon, and of course NFTs. If it's a trending topic on Twitter, it's almost guaranteed Paul is involved or invested. 

As Paul evolves from a creator to a multi-faceted entrepreneur, he still seems to possess boundless energy. "I'm not capped out. I'm a workaholic. It's a strength of mine. And so as long as I care and I'm fulfilled that I'm having fun doing the things I'm doing, like, I could double my workload maybe," he said.

He does claim there's been at least one significant change recently. "Admittedly, I used to like talking about myself. Now I hate it. It's all the same s***."

Melody Hahm is Yahoo Finance’s West Coast correspondent, covering entrepreneurship, technology and culture. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm and on LinkedIn.

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