This weekend YouTuber Jake Paul faced backlash after footage surfaced of what appeared to be him and a group looting a mall in Arizona. The viral video, taken by Paul’s videographer Andrew Blue, was posted on Instagram. It shows the group walking around the looting site where hundreds of protestors ransacked stores.
In defense of his brother, Logan Paul addressed the situation on his podcast, IMPAULSIVE. The panel’s trio condemned Jake for his behavior. However, Logan vehemently denied the notion that Jake was participating destructively. They chalk up the video as an unfortunate example of Jake’s lack of better judgment. At the time of Logan’s video, Jake had yet to speak about his actions.
Jake Paul: “I’ve always tried to use my platform to raise awareness.”
On June 3, Jake finally uploaded a YouTube video taking the time to address the rumors and controversy. Before he got into the gritty details, Jake said what happened to George Floyd isn’t okay. Furthermore, he explained he feels a need to get involved and reminded the audience of his history of community outreach. Then Jake said the mall video is a result of the group’s desire to be involved and show support for the protests.
He explained that after following directions to where the protests were, he began seeing rioters looting an Apple Store. At that time, he was hit by a cloud of tear gas. He then said he and his group ran across the street where they continued to record strangers breaking windows. After retreating from the chaos, he was drawn to document the looters inside the mall. His time inside the mall is where the public assumed he was actively looting stores.
In short, Jake insists he was in no way involved in stealing or vandalizing. Moreover, he condemns the fact that rioters are damaging public property and sympathizes with local store owners hurt by looters. Additionally, he acknowledges there are situations he shouldn’t be involved in and takes this as a learning moment. He promises to grow as a person but does not regret documenting the riots.