YouTuber MrBeast grew to superstardom gifting away cash. Now he's pivoting to 'curing' disabilities, however with it comes backlash.

  • MrBeast grew to become the world’s greatest YouTuber by gifting away thousands and thousands of {dollars} in elaborate movies.
  • He has not too long ago pivoted to giving medical help to individuals with disabilities, which has resulted in backlash. 
  • Some are accusing him of exploiting individuals for clout and of misrepresenting disabled communities. 

“I identical to serving to individuals,” MrBeast wrote in one in every of his most up-to-date tweets

The YouTube megastar, with 152 million subscribers, grew to become essentially the most adopted particular person creator on the platform by increase a fame for performing acts of kindness, typically involving a big money prize. 

MrBeast, whose actual identify is Jimmy Donaldson, started by donating hundreds of {dollars} to small, unsuspecting Twitch streamers, documenting their elated responses to his generosity on digital camera. He has since given away thousands and thousands of {dollars} to followers in his brief challenge-style main-channel movies.

On his secondary channel, Beast Philanthropy, he is launched dozens of humanitarian help initiatives — together with offering provides to underserved colleges and giving help to Ukrainian refugees. 

Altogether, these acts have received him a massively optimistic response as followers mentioned they set him aside from different rich celebrities. 

However this might all be altering, because the YouTuber’s latest style of content material has been receiving growing backlash, embroiling him in accusations of manufacturing “inspiring porn” and exploiting individuals for on-line fame. 

Donaldson began posting about offering medical help for individuals with disabilities — a big shift from his typical essential channel content material 

Donaldson’s hottest YouTube movies have beforehand been lighthearted challenge-style tournaments involving followers. His hottest add of all time reveals 456 contestants participating in a real-life model of the Netflix sequence “Squid Recreation” to compete for $456,000. 

In a tweet posted January 15, Donaldson mentioned he was planning to launch one thing that may be “nothing like” his older posts. The outcome was a video wherein he mentioned he can be “curing 1,000 individuals’s blindness.”

The video, posted on January 28, documented individuals assembly up with the YouTuber so he might pay for his or her sight-restoring cataract surgical procedure, and so they typically demonstrated emotional reactions and thanked the YouTuber when the bandages have been later faraway from their eyes. Money prizes have been additionally concerned, as Donaldson gave briefcases which he mentioned contained $10,000 to quite a few contributors. 

Donaldson had beforehand stored this charitable model of content material confined to his philanthropy channel, the place his movies obtain below 30 million views every — an enormous quantity by most YouTubers’ requirements, however small for him. After importing this submit on his essential YouTube channel, it obtained 139 million views, according to the view counts for his typical challenge-style content material. 

Three months later, Donaldson posted the same video on his essential channel, paying for 1,000 individuals to get listening to aids, and in addition for some contributors to have new experiences, together with going to a Taylor Swift live performance and attending a championship basketball sport. 

On his philanthropy channel, the place the YouTuber had beforehand not posted any movies instantly associated to disabilities or well being, he uploaded the same video, paying for 1,000 individuals’s prosthetic limbs, someday after his listening to help video went dwell. 

Viewers are accusing Donaldson of exploiting individuals and misrepresenting disabled communities  

Whereas Donaldson’s cataract surgical procedure video was extremely standard amongst some viewers, who praised the YouTuber for his generosity, it additionally sparked a wave of backlash, as some people wrote that they thought we shouldn’t be turning to rich influencers to repair widespread societal issues like the price of healthcare. Others accused Donaldson of paying for the surgical procedures as a method of gaining on-line clout and producing standard content.

Dr Jeffrey Levenson, the ophthalmologist who collaborated with Donaldson on the venture, informed Insider he thinks the YouTuber is “most likely proud” of the controversy it stirred up, including, “Controversy is a mirrored image of the world coming to face the query that we should take the ethical initiative to unravel this downside as soon as and for all.” 

Donaldson defended the video himself on Twitter, nevertheless it appears Levenson might have been proper — he now seems to be leaning into the sort of content material, regardless of the controversy it causes. 

The YouTuber’s subsequent video about shopping for 1,000 individuals listening to aids unsurprisingly additionally brought on a stir on social media, as a number of individuals, together with customers who mentioned they’re deaf, accused him of manufacturing “inspiration porn,” a time period coined by incapacity activist Stella Younger in a 2014 Ted Discuss outlined because the “objectifying [of] disabled individuals for the advantage of non-disabled individuals.”

Cryssie Jones, a Canada-based artist who’s Deaf, based on her Twitter bio, identified in a now-viral tweet that listening to aids are “not a remedy” and “don’t routinely restore listening to,” saying that Donaldson’s video didn’t “depict the precise struggles” that many deaf individuals expertise. 

Quite a lot of customers have come to Donaldson’s protection for the reason that video went dwell — together with Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk, who wrote, “individuals undoubtedly should not be attacked for doing good” — however the YouTuber doesn’t seem to have addressed the latest controversy. The very subsequent day, he uploaded his video titled “I Helped 2000 Amputees Stroll Once more.”

Backlash has additionally begun to unfold into different facets of his fame. On Could 11, after a New York Submit report about Donaldson shopping for properties for his workers went viral, he responded to accusations that he may need had ulterior motives behind the purchases, writing, “Solely I might get canceled for giving individuals a spot to dwell with no strings connected,” on Twitter.  

Donaldson’s insistence on extravagant giving acquired him his identify and fame, however many viewers seem to consider that his latest format has gone a step too far, arguing that by specializing in individuals with disabilities, his altruism is tipping into exploitation and performativity.  

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