In a wholly unexpected pairing, it seems that Jeff Bezos may be a newfound fan of MrBeast and seems to be gearing up to come good on a massive donation request from the American YouTuber. But should we actually applaud that?
It’s looking like a week for the history books for American YouTube superstar MrBeast: after receiving high praise from the godfather of bodybuilding Arnold Schwarzenegger on his recent body transformation, he’s now found a high-value fan in Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, who appears to be opening lines of communication between himself and the viral creator after he made a strange request last month.
MrBeast took to Twitter earlier this month, jokingly saying that it would be a “great day” for Jeff Bezos to give him a billion dollars. Known for his knack for making the impossible possible — as well as throwing eye-watering sums of videos at this YouTue videos — if anyone was going to make this ridiculous request become a reality, it was MrBeast.
Even he, however, probably didn’t anticipate Bezos reaching out only a matter of hours after the request was made, seemingly having had his attention piqued by the brazen cash grab…
Today feels like a great day for Jeff Bezos to give me a billion dollars for fun— MrBeast (@MrBeast) July 1, 2023
Once hailed as the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos has slipped down to the third spot in the worldwide billionaire rankings after a costly divorce and an equally costly new marriage. With a modest though not inconsiderable net worth of around $150 billion USD, Bezos has been overtaken by the likes of Elon Musk — whose net worth leapt in the first half of this calendar year — and Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury brands titan LVMH. Fear not though, as Bezos still had enough tucked away to recently unveil his $700 million superyacht and the $100 million ‘support yacht’ that keeps it company…
In the strange and wonderful realm of YouTube, MrBeast reigns as the resident rich list leader. Known for his extravagant videos that often cost millions of dollars to produce, he is also known for his apparent generosity, often giving away massive cash prizes or life-changing experiences to bolster his content. This seems to be something that Jeff Bezos is curious about, if not a committed fan of, given his telling decision to follow MrBeast yesterday; a screenshot of which MrBeast quickly posted on his account.
Though Bezos is yet to respond publicly to the request, his speedy decision to follow MrBeast has led to speculation that private conversations may be occurring between the two behind closed doors. If Bezos did decide to throw a casual billion in MrBeast’s direction, it would undoubtedly open up the possibility of MrBeast creating a video the likes of which the platform has never seen before, given the enormous budget that would be at his disposal.
WATCH: Don’t worry, Bezos’ cash isn’t running out anytime soon. Here’s his $700m superyacht…
Not only would this be good for MrBeast, but it would doubtless be well-received by the suits at YouTube, who have been pushing the platform away from “home video” and into larger-scale entertainment for some time.
As exciting as this prospect is, it would also reveal an ugly truth about the wider notion of billionaire philanthropics which many of the world’s superrich — including Bezos — proudly partake in as a way of keeping their image and fortunes squeaky clean. Earlier this week, Bezos, in partnership with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, announced that the pair would commit a staggering $200 million USD to the Protecting Our Planet challenge over the next four years in an effort to help the Brazilian government preserve the region’s wildlife and protect Indigenous communities, as reported by People.
While any amount of money being spent on such a good cause is undeniably a welcome boon to an often bleak battle, the fact that Bezos may even be considering a donation that is over five times the size of that made to Brazil — and probably closer to ten times Bezos’ own contribution, assuming him and DiCaprio will go halves — speaks volumes about why billionaires offload their cash and the causes they deem worthy enough to give it to.
He just followed me 👀 pic.twitter.com/bJDhXz8UUg— MrBeast (@MrBeast) July 3, 2023
It’s no secret that the superrich — or even the run-of-the-mill just-rich — can make massive tax savings by giving their wealth away as gifts or donations. If they give it to a “good cause”, they get the added benefit of some beneficial PR too. Though this may sound cynical, if the end result of the investment is a benefit to the wider world, then you’ll hear relatively few complaints from me. If, however, the spend is over a billion US dollars and given to a billionaire twenty-five-year-old to make clickbait content on YouTube… then I start to take issue.
Not only would this prove that the act of offloading cash for tax breaks is more important to billionaires than where the cash is going or what it’s doing, but it would set a further precedent for billionaires and their strange, click-grabbing interactions dominating a news cycle — as masterfully pioneered by Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg in recent weeks with their endless cage fight hype — when, frankly, there are much more important things to worry about.
As of right now, the donation from Bezos to Beast hasn’t been confirmed, so this may turn out to be a big nine-hundred-word fuss over nothing. If money is forthcoming, however, I’ll be back to see what happens when cash meets content creation.