MrBeast is defending his latest charity video where he chronicled “giving 20,000 shoes to kids in Africa,” as fans are also vehemently supporting the YouTuber amid a wave of backlash in recent weeks.
In his latest charity video, which has three million views and counting, MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, said that a lack of shoes prevents children in South Africa from being able to walk to school each day. “They have to walk for miles over harsh terrain, broken glass, and contaminated water,” he says at the top of the video.
Donaldson teamed with Barefoot No More, a nonprofit based in Johannesburg that makes seamless shoes out of plastic granules, to help carry out his latest large-scale charitable giveaway. He chronicled the event on Beast Philanthropy, a secondary channel where all ad revenues benefit his charity of the same name.
As expected, the video was met with criticism on Twitter, including allegations that Donaldson was patching up systemic issues like poverty for his own profit rather than fixing the underlying problems. (The top-ranked YouTuber has received this criticism in the past, most recently for his January viral video in which he said he “cured” a thousand people of blindness.)
Donaldson once again addressed these accusations. On Thursday, the creator took to Twitter to respond to a user who tweeted that his videos aren’t “really charity.”
“People praising things like this like ‘good guy Mr Beast’ ignore the reality that he makes a profit from these types of videos. This isn’t really charity,” @UpwardBoss wrote. Their tweet has been liked over 5,500 times.
Donaldson retorted that he nor his charity Beast Philanthropy profit from their YouTube endeavors.
“No hate, you prob just haven’t seen this channel but it actually is a charity and I obviously don’t profit from it,” Donaldson responded to @UpwardBoss. “100% of all revenue from beast philanthropy goes towards running my food banks and helping ease human suffering, and since inception I’ve personally put in millions into beast philanthropy.”
Despite some ongoing criticism, by Friday, many more people rushed to Donaldson’s defense. Twitter users and fellow YouTubers say they find these criticisms deeply unfair — and that Donaldson has done more good than harm.
“Mr Beast helped more people?” tweeted commentary YouTuber MoistCr1TiKaL. “Luckily the intellectual saints on Twitter are here to explain why good things are actually evil and nothing positive is real.”
Some noted that while it’s fair to criticize the mechanisms that Donaldson operates within, the backlash has become way overblown as of late.
“He’s a part of the machine. He’s not gonna fix capitalism, he’s going to operate within it – and it’s fine that he also does good,” said the YouTuber Ludwig Ahgren in a recent video about the ordeal. “You don’t have to love him because hes doing charity work … but to hate him for it seems a little backwards. Is it better if he doesn’t do it? I don’t think so.”
Others made light of the discourse, joking that they would hold the YouTuber at gunpoint if he saved their mother dying from cancer, or have an epic tantrum if he ended world hunger.
In addition to defending Beast Philanthropy, Donaldson also sought to clarify the origins of his MrBeast Burger ghost kitchen business.
Responding to a critical tweet that has since been deleted, Donaldson said the chain has roots in altruism as well.
“I started Beast Burger during Covid because restaurants were struggling and I wanted to give them a way to earn extra money,” he wrote. “I’ve also never made a penny off it, we just reinvest the revenue into ads to help restaurants make more money.”
Insider has reached out to Donaldson and his team for further comment.