Jake Paul, Logan Paul’s younger and more prolific brother on YouTube, has found himself in trouble following a couple of controversial days.
It all started when Jake Paul, a 20-year-old influencer who boasts close to 13 million subscribers on YouTube, uploaded a video on Jan. 3 titled “I lost my virginity,” seen above. The vlog, like most of Paul’s videos, used a clickbaity title, but didn’t include any overtly sexual references. Still, an age-gate, a tool used to discourage viewers under 18 from viewing a video, was implemented for the vlog.
It was the original thumbnail, however, that caught the attention of YouTube creators and critics. In the original thumbnail, seen below, Jake can be seen lying underneath his girlfriend Erika Costell’s semi-nude body. The position was compromising and, critics pointed out, inappropriate for Paul’s audience. Like his brother Logan, Jake Paul’s audience is predominantly teen girls and children.
Paul never addressed the thumbnail, but did change it minutes later to something a little less controversial. In the new image, both Paul and Costell are fully clothed and not touching.
The thumbnail caught the attention of YouTube commentators, like Keemstar and Philip DeFranco, who called out the Paul brothers for abusing their position as entertainers with young audiences.
Now, Paul is catching even more heat following a leaked TMZ video that showed the YouTuber using a racist slur while rapping along to a song. Paul is himself a musician, and recently released a Christmas album, which he used to sell his merchandise and promote his channel.
This isn’t the first time that Paul has found himself in trouble. The YouTuber came into prominence in 2016, after moving over to YouTube full time after the closure of Vine. In 2017, Paul was forced to leave his Los Angeles residential community after neighbors filed multiple complaints. Paul was accused of performing dangerous, Jackass-style pranks that he and a group of fellow vloggers, known as the members of Team 10, often did to create outlandish content for their YouTube channels.
A reporter for KTLA described the pranks as such:
A recent stunt involved tossing furniture into an empty pool and setting the pile on fire. Neighbors said flames eventually grew higher than the house.
It got to the point where hordes of teenage fans were showing up to Paul’s house after he posted his address online, causing his neighbors to alert the police of noise complaints and safety concerns. The trouble attracted so much negative attention, Paul was fired from his role as a vlogger named Dirk on the Disney Channel original series, Bizaardvark.
Paul’s controversy comes in the wake of his brother, Logan Paul, taking a break from YouTube after being criticized for posting a video in which he showed the body of a man who appears to have recently committed suicide. Logan Paul apologized for the video on both YouTube and Twitter, but hasn’t vlogged since then. On Twitter, he told fans he would return soon, but was “taking time to reflect.”
Jake Paul hasn’t issued a statement at the time of this article being published, but Polygon has reached out to his representative for a statement.