Since he began making YouTube videos 11 years ago, Jimmy Donaldson—better known as MrBeast—has gained over 130 million subscribers. Over time, the 24-year-old American YouTuber's approach to creating content has changed as well. Many of his videos focus on giving back in various ways, like planting trees and donating to charities. His most recent endeavor: paying for people's life-changing surgery.
Titled 1,000 Blind People See For the First Time, this eight-minute-long video has garnered 54 million views in just two days. It documents MrBeast meeting and paying for 1,000 people's eye surgery, and the emotional aftermath of being able to see again. “Half of the blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery,” the doctor in the video explains. However, due to medical costs or access to healthcare, the people MrBeast helps—who come from around the globe—were unable to access this procedure.
All of the participants left with the ability to see again, and some were also given $10,000. A high school senior was gifted $50,000 for college, and another man was presented with a Tesla. While the feat is heartwarming and changed many people's lives, it also highlighted how many individuals worldwide cannot attain this 10-minute operation. “I don’t understand why curable blindness is a thing,” MrBeast comments on Twitter. “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.”
Though he’s certainly changed these people’s lives forever and has brought awareness to the troubling issues surrounding the ties between healthcare and economic status, some have found MrBeast's approach to charity troubling and see it as a way for him to generate more views for his channel. Some have gone so far as to point the finger at MrBeast for exploiting people in need and then gaining monetarily from it. Of course, the discourse goes both ways as others have defended the YouTuber's video because of how it has positively impacted the lives of those featured in it and how it promotes the act of giving back whenever possible.
If you'd like to help support people in need of help due to vision issues, the video's caption includes a link to SEE International—a charitable organization that provides “free eyecare to those around the world that may otherwise not have access to treatment.”
American YouTuber MrBeast paid for 1,000 people's cataract surgery, curing them of their blindness.
This life-changing procedure requires just 10 minutes but can cost thousands of dollars in the States.
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.
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) January 30, 2023
Watch this video to learn more about how it happened:
Some have criticized MrBeast for his video and the authenticity of his philanthropy.
It’s the never ending cycle of content creation that makes Mr Beast feel insidious. The underlying notion that if the camera wasn’t on to feed the machine nothing would happen. The dystopian thought we’re reliant on YouTube views instead of competent government for assistance.
— Kristi YamaGuccimane (@wapplehouse) January 30, 2023
MrBeast is a sponsored philanthropist which means he uses other people's money so they can feed off his clout and everyone rich gets a tax writeoff.
If he actually was a philanthropist he would buy the patent on the drug and technology and make it zero dollars thank you
— Documenting the Capitalocene Era (@ALeftistMoniker) January 31, 2023
What the Mr beast thing is telling me is that so many people would miss a point so hard that if the Hunger Games were real you'd be praising the rich people for giving people the opportunity !!! instead of asking yourself why the games are wrong in the first place
— Rinna 🇲🇽🏳️⚧️ (@RinRinYikes) January 31, 2023
Though there are disagreements arguing both sides, one common consensus is that this is striking up a much-needed conversation about healthcare and how all people should have access to it.
I don’t hate Mr. Beast. I don’t particularly care about Mr. Beast. What I hate is a system where good deeds are only done if they’re profitable, where people are forced to rely on the unreliable benevolence of the rich because they have no other way of having their needs met.
— Read Jackson Rising by @CooperationJXN (@JoshuaPHilll) January 31, 2023
The problem is not MrBeast, the problem is the societal conditions that make MrBeast the best way for disadvantaged people to get necessary medical care
— 💥 Nurse D, Ham Pun Enjoyer (@TakeThatNurses) January 31, 2023
My only critique is that I wish the video talked more about the actual problem: The poor shouldn't need to rely on philanthropy to have medical needs covered. Basic human rights should not be behind a paywall.
The fact that Mr. Beast is doing this is an indictment on the world.
— None King Left Salt (@TheTrueSaltKing) January 31, 2023