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The Untold Truth Of MrBeast

Long before MrBeast was making money with Squid Game stunts, he was Jimmy Donaldson, a regular kid who wanted nothing more than to become a successful YouTuber. In many ways, MrBeast is the quintessential influencer. He began posting videos to YouTube when he was barely a teenager, and years later he was still grinding his way towards a million subscribers. Then, a viral video launched him into the stratosphere, and his own unrelenting effort put his videos in front of tens of millions of viewers.

Today MrBeast is "YouTube's biggest philanthropist," and he's well on his way to becoming the single most subscribed-to creator on the entire platform. MrBeast is redefining what success on YouTube looks like, which is inspiring a whole generation of up-and-coming content creators. Despite the tragic details in his life, MrBeast is working to "make the world a better place" by donating money, planting trees, and cleaning up Earth's oceans. He's also making forays outside of YouTube with investments in tech startups and his very own burger chain. There's more to MrBeast than meets the eye, so before you watch another of his over-the-top stunts, dive into his untold truth.

He began YouTubing in 2012 at age 13

These days MrBeast has a mind boggling amount of subscribers on YouTube. Over 84 million people get notified when he releases a video, and a video breaking 100 million views is a regular occurrence on his channel. It was on the basis of MrBeast's incredible following that he signed with the management company Night Media back in 2019 (via Businesswire).

Things weren't always this way. MrBeast got his start the same way many other prominent YouTubers did. He posted his first video in 2012 when he was just thirteen years old. Back then, he posted under the name MrBeast6000, and his content focused heavily on the game "Minecraft," as one might expect from a kid his age (via Newsweek). After almost a decade of tweaking his content and gaming the algorithm, MrBeast is now one of the best known YouTubers on the entire platform. Even the oldest video on his channel has nearly 10 million views — not bad for a kid showing off one of the worst Minecraft traps ever built. 

He dropped out of college

It might not be the commonly recommended path to success, but there are countless stories of people creating great careers for themselves after dropping out of school. MrBeast grew up in Greenville, North Carolina, and in 2016 he graduated from the private high school Greenville Christian Academy (via Business North Carolina). After that, his academic career was short-lived.

According to MrBeast himself, he enrolled in college after high school, but he only attended classes for two weeks. He dropped out of school and told his mom, "I'd rather be poor then (sic) do anything beside YouTube." His mom apparently wasn't elated by the news. In a Twitter thread, MrBeast explained that she forced him to move out because she "loves me and just wanted me to be successful." Considering that when MrBeast decided to leave school he had under a million subscribers, it's not hard to see why his mother didn't think YouTube was a viable career option.

However, "Things change quick on YouTube," MrBeast said. A year after dropping out he broke a million subscribers, and now he's well on his way to becoming the most subscribed-to YouTuber. He's made enough money from creating content that he was even able to give his mom $100,000. Not bad for a college dropout.

His first viral video was counting to 100,000

MrBeast didn't have a viral video until he'd been on YouTube for five years. His first massive video, "I Counted to 100,000!" was uploaded on January 8th, 2017. Counting to 100,000 was MrBeast's first big "challenge" video, and creating it certainly tested his stamina – not to mention the patience of anyone trying to watch the entire video. The counting took over 40 hours, so to be able to upload it to YouTube, Mr. Beast had to speed up certain segments to make it just 24 hours long.

In the first five days that the video was on YouTube, it pulled in over 5 million views. The video finally brought MrBeast mainstream attention, and the views kept pouring in, and four years later it was still regularly receiving new comments and had garnered well over 24 million views, though it's anyone's guess how many of those viewers actually sat around to watch the whole video.

He's become YouTube's biggest philanthropist

It wasn't long after realizing that people loved watching bizarre stunts that MrBeast found his next hit niche. He began finding creative ways to give away money; sometimes that meant giving small amounts of cash to random Twitch users, and at other times it meant giving away $10,000 to homeless people in his city (via The Verge). He even once gave a waitress enough money to make her quit her job. Most of the money MrBeast gave away came from brand deals, but by 2018 he'd donated over a million dollars and earned himself the title "YouTube's biggest philanthropist." MrBeast's giveaway videos managed to do some good in the world while also massively boosting his following on YouTube. The more money MrBeast gave away, the more people showed up to his channel.

In 2019, MrBeast raised the stakes by starting a more conventional charity campaign called #TeamTrees. To celebrate his channel hitting 20 million subscribers, MrBeast set out to help the Arbor Day Foundation plant 20 million trees by raising $20 million (via Insider). In the very first day that MrBeast launched the campaign, #TeamTrees raised $4 million. The campaign wasn't MrBeast's last foray into large-scale philanthropy. He followed it up in 2021 with #TeamSeas, a very similar campaign which aimed to clean up 30 million pounds of trash from the world's oceans by raising $30 million.

He's gotten into trouble for offensive tweets

YouTube's biggest philanthropist has not gotten by without his share of controversies. Just as MrBeast's following was growing exponentially, The Atlantic dug into his Twitter account and found some unsavory statements made by the influencer. Most of MrBeast's offensive comments used gay slurs or made homosexuality into a punchline. He repeatedly called users gay slurs in his replies, and in 2018 his Twitter bio read "just because I'm gai doesn't mean I'm gay." The Atlantic also called out a video titled "Giving $10,000 To Comments On This Video" in which MrBeast wore a shirt which read "I'm not gay, but $20 is $20."

When MrBeast was asked to address his comments, he appeared to dodge the issue. "I'm not offensive in the slightest bit in anything I do," he said, adding, "I'm just going to ignore it. I don't think anyone cares about this stuff." In spite of what he told The Atlantic, MrBeast went on to remove all of his homophobic tweets, and he marked the video they criticized private on YouTube. His twitter bio now reads, "I want to make the world a better place before I die." From that, it seems that MrBeast understood how he could have offended people and has made some genuine efforts to improve his speech online. In 2021, a spokesperson for MrBeast pointed to the fact that he was a teenager when the offensive content was posted and said that MrBeast "has grown up and matured into someone that doesn't speak like that" (via The New York Times).

MrBeast had a feud with Morgz

The controversy spurred by The Atlantic's 2018 article was something that MrBeast tried his best to avoid, but a year later he was diving headfirst into a new kind of controversy. Dexerto broke down a brewing feud between MrBeast and fellow YouTuber Morgz in 2019, back when MrBeast had 24 million subscribers. The feud started when Chandler Hallow, a friend of MrBeast, made a tweet that showed some striking similarities between MrBeast videos and Morgz videos. It looked like Morgz was regularly posting challenges that had previously been performed by MrBeast. When MrBeast later joked on Twitter that "My brother isn't an actual youtuber until Morgz copies one of his videos," the feud exploded.

Morgz fired back with his own screenshot of videos that he claimed MrBeast had copied from his channel. MrBeast refuted Morgz's claims and wrote back, "I've been trying to be nice and not hop on the f*** morgz train, I really don't care for drama." Since then, the feud has mostly fizzled out. Morgz revisited the issue in a video posted on May 23, 2021, but this time his claims didn't elicit a response from MrBeast, who's probably more focused on managing his ever-growing channel.

He's been accused of creating a toxic workplace

In May 2021 The New York Times published a piece on MrBeast which broke open a new controversy surrounding his treatment of his employees. To manage his booming channel, MrBeast has hired about 50 employees and moved his various companies into a warehouse to give everyone room to work. While plenty of people are flocking to the companies for work, not everyone is having a good experience being a part of the team.

Matt Turner, who worked for MrBeast for well over a year, said that he was berated by his boss on a daily basis. In addition to the verbal abuse, "I was not to be credited for anything I did. I'd ask for credit, he'd credit someone else." Nate Anderson, another MrBeast employee, uploaded a video to YouTube titled "My Experience Editing for Mr. Beast (Worst Week of My Life)." The video garnered Anderson so many hateful comments and death threats from MrBeast fans that he's since removed it.

It's worth noting that not all MrBeast employee's told the Times that working with the influencer was a negative experience. Writer Josh Hyman said the team felt "like family," adding, "Everyone employed there was a friend of a friend." MrBeast has yet to publicly comment on any of the more concerning stories published by the Times.

He opened a burger restaurant

MrBeast now has millions of dollars coming in from his various YouTube channels each month, and he's using those funds to invest in new forms of content, tech startups designing new gaming controllers, and even a fast food chain of sorts called MrBeast Burger (via The New York Times). It's only a chain of sorts because MrBeast Burger operates exclusively in "ghost kitchens," meaning that customers can only order their food online because the burgers are actually cooked in the borrowed kitchen space of pre-existing restaurants.

That may be an odd strategy for a startup, but the company started strong. According to Eat This, Not That, MrBeast Burger opened in 600 kitchens and received some glowing reviews in its first few weeks. The company was able to capitalize on MrBeast's massive following and the relatively low cost of operation that comes with being an online-only business. Unfortunately, not every patron ended up eating the meal of their dreams. Fans felt divided as customers posted pictures of dining horror stories — which included burgers burnt black and chicken strips delivered raw — to Twitter. The online criticism wasn't enough to sink the company, however, and it appears to still be going strong.

Not every video makes it to YouTube

For as much content as MrBeast uploads to YouTube, there are still plenty of videos that he and his team work on that never see the light of day. On a Twitch stream, MrBeast was asked if there were any videos he regretted. He said that he had regretted the time he lost working on a video about climbing a building with plungers. MrBeast and his team spent hours "studying the best plungers with suction, how to fit the most on you, and, yeah, it didn't end up working out."

In other instances, MrBeast filmed entire videos that never made it to YouTube. In a video posted on April 30, 2020, MrBeast discussed some of his failed videos. He and the gang crashed a car going a hundred miles an hour into a wall, but afterwards realized that a blurry camera shot meant the video would never get uploaded. Another time, MrBeast paid to send his friends to the Seven Wonders of the World. The various trips cost around $90,000, but the video had to be scrapped because MrBeast lost his camera on his trip to the Roman Colosseum. The videos that didn't make their way to YouTube almost display MrBeast's incredible dedication to quality content more than the ones that actually became viral sensations.