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Why MrBeast faces so much criticism for philanthropy

MrBeast’s latest stunt involves paying for cataract removal for 1,000 people

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MrBeast accepts the award for favorite male creator at the Kids Choice Awards.

MrBeast accepts the award for favorite male creator at the Kids Choice Awards on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. MrBeast’s latest stunt involves paying for cataract removal for 1,000 people.

Chris Pizzello, Invision via Associated Press

MrBeast might become YouTube’s first billionaire philanthropist, but even as he gives away millions of dollars, he doesn’t escape criticism.

MrBeast, also known as Jimmy Donaldson, has amassed $500 million through his YouTube videos, according to Forbes. The 24-year-old content creator is famous not only for family-friendly, goofy videos, but also his philanthropy.

According to his YouTube about page, Donaldson has given away millions to charity, donated more than 100 cars, gave away a private island, adopted every dog in a shelter and engaged in other charitable acts.

On Wednesday, Kick.com tweeted, “1 like and we’ll make @MrBeast CEO of Kick.” Earlier in the day, they seemed to have teased this “I don’t think you understand what’s about to happen.” Kick is a streaming service similar to Twitch. It’s not yet confirmed whether or not he’s actually CEO, but the recent tweets have sparked rumors.

Whether or not MrBeast is Kick’s next CEO right now is only speculation, but his main ventures are his YouTube channels. He started his main YouTube channel on Feb. 19, 2012, and a decade later, he has 115 million subscribers and billions of views on his channel.

The Hollywood Reporter said that MrBeast won top creator for the third year in a row at YouTube’s award show, the Streamy Awards. He also won for brand engagement and for “Creator for Social Good.”

MrBeast’s channel is the most popular in the world, according to Forbes. And it all started when he was 13 and used his brother’s hand-me-down laptop to make videos.

Now, if Donaldson sells a small stake of his channel for $150 million, he could be the first person to become a billionaire because of YouTube.

One of his videos, which has 84 million views, is called “I Uber’d People And Let Them Keep The Car.” In the video, Donaldson gives several people car rides as an Uber driver and tells them at the end of the ride that they can keep the car.

While he started off as a commentator on games, he now does stunts and lifestyle content and usually adds a philanthropic twist.

One of his recent videos involved paying for cataract removal. CNN reported, “The content creator’s latest stunt is paying for cataract removal for 1,000 people who were blind or near-blind but could not afford the surgery.”

One of his other highly popular videos is called “I Ordered Pizza And Tipped The House.” He tells a Domino’s delivery worker that he needs help moving furniture all day and offers him a few thousand dollars to help.

At the end of the video, Donaldson gives him the fully furnished house, complete with 100 cans of Monster, because the Domino’s worker had a Monster sticker on his phone, and toys for his daughter. At the end of the video, the Domino’s worker said that his current house was unsafe for his family and that he was relieved he could now have a safe place to live.

Per the Deseret News, “His 50-person company operates six YouTube channels, including MrBeast and Beast Reacts, which alone have more than 100,000,000 subscribers.” While MrBeast’s philanthropic efforts have generated lots of views, he’s also criticized from time to time for the way he goes about philanthropy.

After MrBeast released a video where he paid for cataract surgery for a thousand people earlier this year, he was accused of “charity porn,” by some users on social media, per BBC. A social commentator said that it was nice of him to pay for the surgery, but by putting it online, MrBeast was creating “charity porn.”

More recently, the Deseret News reported that when MrBeast donated 20,000 shoes to children in South Africa, he faced criticism. Some called the act of charity “a bandaid” and others said it wasn’t really charity because MrBeast profited from the YouTube video.

MrBeast has addressed criticism like this before. He said his MrBeast videos are usually not profitable and they usually lose money, per Relevant Magazine. Additionally, he said governments did need to do more to help. He joked about how even though some people say rich people should give away all their money and he’s committed to actually doing that, he still faces criticism.

In addition to his philanthropy, MrBeast is known for pulling outrageous stunts on his channel with his crew.

Some of his latest videos include “I Paid a Real Assassin to Try to Kill Me” and “I Survived 50 Hours in Antarctica,” which have 83 million and 105 million views respectively. In the latter video, he and his crew really do travel to Antarctica and set up camp. MrBeast climbs a mountain with a couple members of his crew and they name the mountain as they said they are the first ones to climb it.

MrBeast’s channel continues to grow in subscribers — even though it already has the most.