YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson has sparked an interesting debate on the internet with his latest video. Perhaps this is a content creator’s fate when, as in the case of MrBeast, he goes to “King of YouTube.” However, the ire the feel-good creator has drawn, while accurate in criticism, is utterly misguided in direction.
Continue reading: YouTube’s king with the most subscriptions is now MrBeast, not PewDiePie
With about 131 million subscribers on Google’s video sharing platform – and millions more everywhere Tick tock and Twitter—MrBeast is the new “King of YouTube” as of November 2022, even surpassing the astronomical subscriber counts that creator Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg once had. Spend enough time on the site and regardless of whether the algorithm knows your number or not, it is possible for a MrBeast video to appear on your homepage. And even when it’s not, his videos get millions of views and appear on the trending pages in all categories like the “Now” and “Gaming” sections. And with so many eyes come almost as many comments and thoughts.
That’s exactly what happened with MrBeast’s latest video. The video, uploaded on January 28, entitled “1,000 blind people see for the first time”, has already garnered more than 62 million views. At the time of writing this, it’s third on YouTube’s trending page – and with good reason! Read this title again. The guy helped people get their sight back. “In this video we heal the blindness of 1,000 people,” says MrBeast at the beginning of the exactly eight-minute video. “This is going crazy.”
Crazy was right! As MrBeast and an unnamed surgeon explained in the video, the people chosen for the “10-minute surgery” appear to have some form of cataracts, which is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. Regardless of age, the protein in the eyes can break down and clump together, creating that blurring that some people experience. By using a “tiny vacuum to suck up the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one”, known as an intraocular lens, people can see again. And MrBeast’s video makes a point of illustrating just how life-changing this “simple operation” is. He’s gifting people $10,000 if they roll on the floor and, in some cases, cry through clearer, saltier eyes. I mean, MrBeast gave a patient a Tesla after the successful procedure and another $50,000 for college. Hell, MrBeast has even taken the surgery abroad, helping blind people in Brazil, Honduras and Mexico because “almost half of the population with curable blindness doesn’t have access to this surgery.” To say it’s heartwarming is an understatement.
While many people online are applauding what MrBeast did with this particular video, myself included, not everyone is happy with his philanthropy. The main point of criticism is that he exploits people with disabilities clout and ultimate, revenue. Because he does charity work, people say MrBeast shouldn’t do that try to capitalize on this work by creating content that generates more eyeballs on him. He should do this in secret, so the consensus, and not blast it everywhere.
But that’s completely off topic. As some online have pointed out, including streamer Hasan “Hasanabi” Piker, the real problem isn’t MrBeast’s philanthropy, it’s paying access to a simple surgery that could have healthy, long-lasting, and positive effects on a person’s eyesight. consider that according to the non-profit organization MyVision.org, the average cost of cataract surgery in the US ranges from $3,500 to $7,000 per eye. That doesn’t include any insurance coverage, which, as I know as someone with the often uninsured eye condition called keratoconus, means people could be hitting tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills. If anything, MrBeast’s tearful video is an indictment of our failing, ultra-capitalist healthcare system. The fault shouldn’t lie with MrBeast. It should be at Big Pharma.
MrBeast is aware of this and takes to Twitter to ask why “governments aren’t stepping in and helping”. However, he seems to have internalized some of the criticism, tweeting that people on the Bird app are mad because He helps others with his money, something he acknowledges people expect the rich to do. He himself asked his supporters if they would vote for him if he ran for president, with nearly 70 percent saying yes. People are clearly enjoying what MrBeast is doing with the money he makes from YouTube.
kotaku asked MrBeast for comment.
Additionally, recording his philanthropic works and sharing them on YouTube, where they can garner millions of views, likely funds MrBeast’s charities. While far from ideal, relying on one person’s wealth is a temporary patch to a fundamental wealth distribution problem, as government inaction and pathetic legislation make our publicly funded institutions like libraries and schools grossly underserved and are severely underfunded. It’s extremely frustrating, especially since there are ways to fix the broken system to help more people than is currently the case.
At the end of the day, however, the real problem here is capitalism. Because everything is geared towards profit, nobody can do anything when money is at stake. Even if MrBeast were to become President in an alternate reality, until we decouple our society from the ills of capitalism, until we learn to do things simply because it’s the right thing to do and not because it generates views and revenue, nothing will change . MrBeast is not infallible, and criticizing him or his philanthropic endeavors is perfectly fine. But we should just make sure we’re criticizing the right thing, and in that case, our stupid, privatized, for-profit healthcare system deserves trouble.
https://kotaku.com/mrbeast-youtube-cure-blindness-healthcare-worth-money-1850055248 MrBeast healing 1,000 blind people on YouTube isn’t the real issue