YouTube sensation Jimmy Donaldson, who goes by Mr Beast, has had a meteoric rise on the video sharing platform.
The 24-year-old uploaded his first video to YouTube when he was 13. He made history by growing his channel to nearly 131 million subscribers, the highest on YouTube.
However, Mr Beast has found himself in choppy waters with his latest videos on his philanthropic channel, Beast Philanthropy.
He recently donated 20 000 school shoes to children in the Western Cape. Mr Beast worked with Barefoot No More, a Johannesburg-based organisation that makes shoes for impoverished children. ‘’Our shoes are shock absorbent, will stretch to accommodate a growing foot and will not cause blisters,’’ said Barefoot No More.
‘’For hundreds of thousands of kids in South Africa, the only thing that standing between them and an education is a simple pair of shoes. Because of the extreme poverty in rural towns, walking to school barefoot is the only option, which means they have to walk miles over harsh terrain,’’ he said in the video.
Two teachers from some of the schools in which children were given shoes expressed their gratitude to the YouTuber for helping their pupils.
However, this video polarised social media, with some users praising Mr Beast while others criticised him.
Mr Beast helped more people? Luckily the intellectual saints on Twitter are here to explain why good things are actually evil and nothing positive is real— Charlie (@MoistCr1TiKaL) March 10, 2023
Fellow YouTuber, The Kavernacle accused Mr Beast of having narcissistic traits and being baby-brained. ‘’This guy is absolutely obsessive about his appearance and what people think of him and wants to be liked.’’
He further said Mr Beast uses charity to whitewash his image and promote himself so that people can’t criticise him when he does bad things.
‘’His world-view is absolutely stupid, if you teach children that the way to fix issues in the world is by doing charity work, a good deed or giving a South African kid a pair of shoes, you’re not teaching them anything really.
‘’Most children who watch your channels will never be able to do these types of things because they don’t have the financial capability. So what alternative do they have? They can’t set up their own charities and they can’t exploit South African poverty for content. The only way to change things is by tackling systemic issues,’’ said The Kavernacle.
Mr Beast took to Twitter to share that his channel, Beast Philanthropy, is a charity that he runs and that all the revenue from these videos goes towards running food pantries and helping people around the world.
Just a reminder for those of you that don’t normally watch this channel, Beast Philanthropy is a charity we run and all the revenue from these videos goes towards running our food pantries and helping people around the world. Our charity owns this channel, I thought it’d be fun… https://t.co/wOFiFuSpQx— MrBeast (@MrBeast) March 9, 2023