Acts of kindness and generosity are always welcomed. In the age of social media however, those acts can have an underlying agenda, taking on a whole new meaning because it’s done less to be kind and more for attention. There’s often an asterisk attached to the act. Take what popular YouTuber Mr. Beast did for one server: As Business Insider reports, his tip for the server was a brand-new car — plastered with logos for his candy bar brand.
Mr. Beast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, is known for doing this kind of stuff. And he can afford to do it, with hundreds of millions of followers across multiple platforms. Unfortunately, a lot of his acts of kindness take on a tone of self-promotion. Take a TikTok post from March 27. In it, Donaldson is eating at a restaurant and speaking to his server, whose name is Amy.
“What’s the biggest tip you’ve ever gotten?” he asks her. She says $50. He then asks if anyone has ever tipped her a car, and he hands her some keys. Looking like she’s about to pass out, she asks him if he’s being serious. He laughs, says yes, and asks if she wants to see the car, which is right outside.
Amy follows him outside to a black Toyota Corolla sedan. “Right over here you’ll see your brand-new car,” he says, while she starts to cry. The camera then goes to a shot of the car and, if your reaction is like mine, your smile quickly fades when you see the bullshit that’s afoot.
See, it could never simply be someone with a ton of money giving a car to someone in need just to be nice. The car he gave her was made to promote him. In huge decals stuck on both sides of the car are logos that read “Feastables,” Donaldson’s brand of chocolate bar. The logo is also on the hood of the car. If you saw this thing on the street, you’d think it was a Feastables company car. The post was popular, of course, getting 50 million views, with Donaldson commenting he’ll give more cars away — but only if fans buy his Feastable bars.
Reactions to the giveaway were mixed. While Mr. Beast’s fans praised him for the move, others came for him about the logos. One said Amy is basically doing a promotion for him while driving the car. Another said that it felt more like product placement than an actual act of kindness.
It’s true that Mr. Beast has given away a lot in charitable gifts — over $3.2 million in cash and prizes in 2022 alone. But real charity doesn’t need to be filmed. It just happens.