Mr. Beast Cured 1,000 People's Blindness and Caused an Online Meltdown
Great news for right-wing supervillains and lawmakers who would rather make terrible Taylor Swift puns than take any action to prevent 26,000 Americans from dying each year due to lack of health insurance: The widespread movement for universal healthcare has met its dystopian match — big-budget YouTubers.
On this week’s episode of Black Mirror, YouTuber MrBeast — a content creator who so boldly asks what would happen if the dudes who record themselves donating to homeless people stumbled their a seven-figure budget — released a video in which he helped cure 1,000 people of blindness by funding a relatively simple yet largely-unaffordable cataract-removal surgery.
“Half of all blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery,” ophthalmologist Jeff Levenson explained of the procedure, which costs roughly $3,000 to $5,000 per eye, which has garnered more than 48 million views since hitting the platform on Saturday.
Yet the positive impact of the video, in which MrBeast also *filmed * himself gifting patients Teslas and large sums of cash, were seemingly out shadowed by its grim, dystopian implications about wealth and the state of American healthcare.
Alongside cracking jokes about how Mr. Beast should turn his skills towards NFL refs, others had more serious critiques of the YouTuber’s latest video, dubbing it “demonic,” questioning whether tax breaks played a role in his generosity, calling him out for invading patients’ privacy, and even broaching how his video may have let politicians off the hook for doing nothing to fix our healthcare system — one that has left 9 percent of American adults at least $250 in debt after receiving often life-saving medical care.
There is something so demonic about this and I can’t even articulate what it is pic.twitter.com/OSpgaUxnQK— Lolo (@LolOverruled) January 29, 2023
MrBeast simps. Hes NOT using HIS money to do this. He does "sponsored philanthropy" and has HIS OWN charity. He is one of many Rich people who uses and helps others use CHARITY to not pay taxes. He's not a good selfless guy. He helps the government deny you Healthcare via charity https://t.co/UvEYL92e8J pic.twitter.com/ue0hrTt6vs— PeopleOverProperty (@CommunistsEgirl) January 29, 2023
Video idea for you @MrBeast pic.twitter.com/o9OmfaKxyO— Full Squad Gaming (@fullsquadgaming) January 30, 2023
imagine being blind and then the first thing you see after your life changing surgery is this pic.twitter.com/xe7UjUL84U— im silly selma (@selmacashmoney) January 30, 2023
Yet it seems fans aren’t alone in recognizing these alarming implications.
“If MrBeast can light a fire, and if we can get governmental and private support behind it, we can end half of all the blindness in the world,” Levenson told CNN amid the video’s controversial response. “Without all that much cost, and with incredible gains in human productivity and human potential.”
The following day, MrBeast himself spoke out on the backlash, issuing a statement both reiterating several of his fans’ concerns … while also entirely missing the point.
“I don’t understand why curable blindness is a thing,” he wrote. “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.”
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
Because after all, what good is a life-saving and/or altering procedure without adding to the American workforce? You’re almost there, buddy.