MrBeast’s “Squid Game” Sparks Heated Debates Between Fans, Creators, And Critics

The reactions are mixed, to say the least.

MrBeast‘s recreation of Netflix‘s Squid Game is a massive hit, but not everyone is loving this viral sensation.

| MrBeast/YouTube

MrBeast (also known as Jimmy Donaldson) is an American content creator best known for his expensive stunts and philanthropy.

MrBeast | Casey Neistat/YouTube

Back in October, MrBeast announced that he would be recreating all the sets and games from Squid Games for a YouTube video456 contestants would compete for a grand prize of $456,000 USD.

| MrBeast/YouTube

The biggest difference between “MrBeast Game” and Squid Game was, of course, the stakes. MrBeast’s tournament was death-free and just for fun.

| MrBeast/YouTube 

Squid Game? Not so much. In Squid Game, the desperate players are willing to risk their lives to win cash, choosing death over a life of poverty. The show has earned praise for its biting commentary on class divides and capitalism in today’s world.

| Netflix

Since its premiere on November 24th, MrBeast’s video has racked up over 124 million views, approximately 13 million more than the original show earned in its first 30 days. Given its massive popularity, MrBeast Game is receiving both praise and criticism.

| MrBeast/YouTube

VICE, in particular, has pointed out the irony of a YouTuber capitalizing on a show that has a strong anti-capitalist message.

As a piece of media, it’s perverse. This doesn’t just badly misunderstand the anti-capitalist message of Squid Game, it’s a literal recreation of the villain’s ultimate desire to watch desperate people compete for money purely for his amusement.


VICE has also called MrBeast Game out on a creative level, calling his video a “ripoff.” VICE claims that original content tends to be overshadowed by fan content on YouTube.

More than just bizarre, Mr. Beast’s Squid Game highlights a fundamental problem of YouTube. There is no shortage of people who make original art and put it online, but the internet is dominated instead by people who can take advantage of existing properties and fan bases.


Another heated debate stems from online creators vs traditional media, specifically in regards to gatekeeping. Jon Youshaei, a contributor for Forbes and TIME, came under fire for this now-deleted tweet wherein he compares the success of MrBeast’s recreation to the original show.

As some fans have pointed out, however, comparing MrBeast Game and Squid Game is like comparing apples and oranges. One is a plotless, philanthropic fan event, comparable to a game show, that would not exist without Squid Game. The other is a standalone television series with an intricate story.

Content creators, journalists, and Squid Game fans are all voicing opinions on the matter, but news YouTuber Philip DeFranco might have summed it up best. “Both of these things can be awesome,” he said while commenting on the controversy. “Not everything has to be a constantly changing of who’s who and the us versus them.”

| Philip DeFranco/YouTube

Watch MrBeast Game here:

Source: VICE and Philip DeFranco

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