Long live Barb! On Tuesday, beloved Stranger Things actor Shannon Purser responded to Logan Paul’s video — you know the one — with an stern tweet that would have made Barb proud. In the first season of Stranger Things, one of Barb’s final acts was to confront her BFF Nancy for not being true to herself. Nancy ignored Barb’s plea, and soon found herself in an uncomfortable situation. Granted, Nancy ultimately ended up faring way better than Barb, but the point is that she should have listened to what her friend was saying. Vlogger Logan Paul has been facing several days of backlash from a carelessly posted video and now he’s hearing from Purser, as well.
Purser’s response to Paul’s disturbing YouTube video — which depicted the dead body of a person hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest known for suicides — was direct, succinct, and powerful. “Doing what you’ve done is depraved,” she wrote. “I hope you seek serious help for your addiction to fame.”
Some people have echoed Purser’s sentiments about Paul’s intent for fame, saying that he knew what he was doing when he posted that horrific video, and, despite two apologies (written and recorded) where Paul says otherwise, that the entire stunt was for the sake of getting views.
Touting more than 15 million subscribers, Paul posted a graphic video (that has since been removed) to his YouTube channel on December 31. The video showed Paul and a few friends visiting the Aokigahara Forest in Fujikawaguchiko, Japan. Locals have called Aokigahara Forest the “suicide forest” because of the high number of people who go there to end their lives — about 100 people each year. The forest has become a bit of a tourist destination because of its close proximity to the base of Mount Fuji, and it was there in the forest that Paul and his friends came across a dead body hanging from a tree, decided to film it, and then uploaded the video for his 15 million subscribers to see.
Purser is just one of many people who have expressed outrage over Paul’s actions, with some calling for the YouTube star to be permanently removed from the video streaming platform. At the time this article was published, Purser’s tweet had received nearly 6,000 likes, with most people backing up the Stranger Things actor in her comments.
Christian Navarro, who played Tony Padilla in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, tweeted, “Thanks @shannonpurser you continue to be a #boss.” Another user wrote, “omg this proves barb is the ultimate savage.” Yet another user called attention to the way that celebrities (such as Purser, Aaron Paul, and Sophie Turner, among others) have been making good use of their far-reaching platforms to speak out against the YouTube star and his perceived need for fame.
Shortly after Purser tweeted her response to Paul, the Stranger Things star shared a Vanity Fair article that provides some much-needed food-for-thought. In the article, Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson explores why we should be concerned — not so much about tearing down Paul, specifically, but about what it is that Paul and his success represents: “thriving, metastasizing cult-communities.” It’s these types of communities that have made Paul a star, supported his most outrageous stunts, and will likely continue to support him in the aftermath of this incident. Hopefully, more stars like Purser will continue to speak out about ethical injustices so that actions like these can one day become extinct.