YouTuber MrBeast responds to backlash over video “curing 1,000 blind people”

"There is something so demonic about this and and I can’t even articulate what it is," said one Twitter user

YouTuber MrBeast has responded to criticism over a video in which he helped 1,000 blind people get access to sight-restoring surgeries.

The content creator is well known for his lavish acts of generosity in his videos. In the past he has given away a private jet and offered people $100,000 (£83,830) to quit their jobs, while also giving his 100millionth subscriber an island. He is also known for his philanthropic endeavours, launching a food bank charity in 2021 and raising money to plant trees and remove plastic waste from oceans, rivers and beaches.

In the video posted on January 28, MrBeast revealed he paid for 1,000 blind people to have surgery to restore their eyesight and filmed their reactions. The surgeries were carried out over three weeks, performed by a doctor named Dr. Jeff Levenson. MrBeast interviewed him for the video, where he said that half of all blindness in the world could be cured with a ten-minute procedure.


The video has been viewed 68million times. However, the YouTuber, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, was widely criticised for the video.

Political commentator and Twitch streamer Hasan Piker said on a livestream that MrBeast’s video filled him with “rage”. “It is so extremely frustrating that it is up to one YouTube guy to decide to make content out of it when people who are too poor can’t just fucking see.” [via TheIndependent]

“There is something so demonic about this and and I can’t even articulate what it is,” another Twitter user wrote.

Others described him as a “textbook rich white man with a god complex”.


MrBeast then addressed the criticism on his Twitter account.

“Twitter – Rich people should help others with their money.

“Me – Okay, I’ll use my money to help people and I promise to give away all my money before I die. Every single penny.

“Twitter – MrBeast bad.”

Not everyone was critical of Donaldson, however. “A Rich YouTuber with loads more money than he will ever need actually gives back in all his videos and people still find a way to complain,” one fan said.

Others pointed out there were bigger issues at work. Responding to Piker’s criticism, one user wrote: “We’re not seeing what’s wrong with what Hasan said. He said he is frustrated that it takes a YouTuber (MrBeast) making a monetisable video for clicks to drive discussion around a procedure that takes 10 minutes and should be accessible to all. What’s wrong with this statement?” said another user.

“It’s deeply frustrating to have to rely on a benevolent content king making feel-good videos, rather than addressing the root causes of these problems.”

Indeed, in a follow-up tweet, MrBeast said: “I don’t understand why curable blindness is a thing. Why don’t governments step in and help? Even if you’re thinking purely from a financial standpoint it’s hard to see how they don’t roi on taxes from people being able to work again.”

In November 2022, MrBeast became YouTube’s most subscribed creator, overtaking Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie, who had held the title since 2012.

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