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MrBeast faces criticism after donating 20,000 pairs of shoes to South African children

Critics are still skeptical of MrBeast’s philanthropic motives

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MrBeast accepts the award for favorite male creator during the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

MrBeast accepts the award for favorite male creator during the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Richard Shotwell, Invision via Associated Press

MrBeast is under fire again. This time, it’s because the YouTube star gave shoes to 20,000 South African kids.

“For hundreds of thousand of kids in South Africa, the only thing standing between them and an education is a simple pair of shoes,” MrBeast explained in a video posted on Wednesday.

He went to to explain that many kids in South Africa have to walk barefoot for miles over harsh terrain, broken glass and contaminated water to get to school.

MrBeast teamed up with Johannesburg charity called Barefoot No More. The nonprofit makes shoes “out of an innovative material designed for durability, comfort and flexibility.” The shoes are also waterproof and stretch to fit a growing foot.

Once he acquired the shoes, MrBeast traveled to Cape Town to “find the schools whose students are in the most desperate need of help.” He then gave out 20,000 pairs of Barefoot No More shoes to South African students.

This is not the first of the social media star’s philanthropic efforts. Earlier this year, he funded cataracts surgery for 1,000 people suffering blindness — an act for which he was called “demonic,” per the Deseret News.

In 2020, MrBeast said be planned to “use my main channel’s influence to one day open hundreds of homeless shelters/food banks and give away all the money.”

“That’s my gameplan and if you don’t believe me, just watch. I promise I’m dying with 0 dollars in my bank account and I refuse to live a materialistic life,” he wrote in a followup tweet.

To make good on his claims, MrBeast created a channel called BeastPhilanthropy where he posts videos of his philanthropic efforts, some of which include: saving an orphanage, building wells in Africa, cleaning the ocean and rebuilding homes damaged by tornados.

Why is MrBeast facing backlash for donating shoes?

Fans criticize the YouTube star because they claim he profits off of his videos. One fan called his donation of shoes a “millionaire bandaid.”

Some fans are supportive of Mr. Beast’s charity work

Loyal MrBeast fans shared their support of the YouTuber’s philanthropic efforts.