Is MrBeast Going Too Far? Or Is It His Fans?


Feastables: at first glance, they may seem like your run-of-the-mill chocolate bar. A closer look, though, will show you that these aren’t any old candy bars: They were made by MrBeast himself. While the name is instantly recognizable to many, there are undoubtedly people out there who still don’t know who he is, so let’s talk about him.

YouTube sensation Jimmy Donaldson unassumingly started his career in 2012, but after going viral in 2017, he soon found himself rolling in the dough. With his newfound wealth, he devoted much of his channel to hosting extreme challenge tournaments and raising money for philanthropic causes, with the rest of his cash being used to launch more challenges and fundraisers, ad infinitum. With the scale of his projects getting larger and larger, he also garnered more and more attention, eventually becoming the fourth-most-subscribed YouTuber on the platform.

As MrBeast’s popularity rose, however, so too did the kind of controversies that inevitably surround any celebrity. Working conditions on set were called into question several times, and when the fast food enterprise MrBeast Burger initially launched, the food quality was often considered subpar. While MrBeast himself would happily clear up any confusion, his biggest defenders weren’t from his production team, but his millions of fans worldwide. Many flocked to social media and promptly vilified any criticisms of MrBeast Burger, claiming that the ghost kitchen system meant that Donaldson was not responsible for the food service, but the management and distribution, which was (admittedly) a rousing success. What was most remarkable about the whole affair wasn’t the fan support itself, but the vehemence of it: while MrBeast could have made better decisions about a product that bore his name, there was a large number of people who insisted that he was wholly innocent and could do no wrong in his philanthropic efforts.

Regardless of everyone’s viewpoint, time eventually smoothed the wrinkles over and MrBeast resumed his “normal” content up until a few months ago, where he announced his latest culinary venture: Feastables. At face value, the chocolate bars seemed like just another way to raise money for another giveaway, but the distribution announcement had an odd tone to it.

While it could easily be considered a lighthearted plea for assistance, it’s all too easy to see how this reads as a call to action for MrBeast’s legions of superfans. Sure enough, there was an instant plethora of people posting about their efforts on social media.

While the fans were “helping out,” the rest of the internet looked on with incredulousness at how devoted these people were to a menial task that only takes a couple of seconds to perform. Some groups even organized efforts to systematically dishevel displays and make it harder for MrBeast fans to do their favorite YouTuber’s bidding. While many ridiculed the fans for going way too far, some went specifically against MrBeast instead, decrying him for encouraging such behavior.

The idea of exploitation logically leads to a pivotal question. While it’s clear that this fan response has gone wildly farther than common sense would allow, whose fault is it really: MrBeast, for encouraging the cooperation of his fans in his business effort, or the fans themselves, who blindly obey said encouragement without a second thought?

In the end, while MrBeast is far from innocent, the blame ultimately falls on the fans for willingly participating in such an outlandish scheme. MrBeast is, at heart, a businessman. He utilizes YouTube to generate a living off of garnering popularity and playing to the crowd’s desires. As his fame has grown broader and his escapades zanier, he always makes sure that what he chooses to do will make his fans happy. If he’s asking people to perform tasks for his business voluntarily, he will do it because the fans will still be happy anyway. Happy fans means more buzz and more $$$, regardless of the methods taken to get there.

The fans, on the other hand, have no such excuse. Don’t get me wrong: it’s perfectly fine to show your support to your favorite YouTuber in whatever way you see fit. There’s an important line to be drawn, though, when people start attaching themselves to a celebrity solely because they admire whoever it is. What people need to do is to find a balance between showing respect, while at the same time thinking logically about such respect. If you’re driving around for hours doing nothing but straightening a few bars of chocolate in a handful of stores, you might want to reconsider if doing so is really worth your time and effort, even for someone you hold in such high esteem. While people may criticize MrBeast for roping his audience in to maintaining his products for him, the reality is that he will only stop when his consumers take a step back, think about what they’re doing, and realize that it’s simply not worth devoting a significant portion of their lives to someone who’s more than willing to take advantage of their readiness to assist their favorite YouTube icon.