A YouTuber Is Facing Criticism For Spending $3.4 Million Recreating ‘Squid Game’ For Views

MrBeast spent a whopping $3.4 million USD on an unbelievably tone-deaf recreation of the Netflix show.

MrBeast Squid Game Criticism

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For weeks, YouTuber MrBeast has been working on recreating the sets of Squid Game to run his own real-life version.

MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, is known for his people-powered challenge videos that offer outlandish prizes to complete the most random tasks. Some of his most notable challenges have been a $70,000 extreme hide-and-seek, a $25,000 task that required contestants to leave their finger on a screen for 70 hours and a ‘last to leave the circle wins $500,000‘.

With 76 million subscribers and an average of 40 to 100 million views per video, MrBeast has a lot of money to fund his challenge prizes and many willing participants ready to play.

So it’s no surprise that 456 of his followers agreed to take place in ‘MrBeast’s Squid Game’ that offered a whopping $456,000 prize — a similar amount to the money won in the actual Korean drama. And just like the show, contestants also had to play Red Light, Green Light, honeycomb, tug o’ war, marbles, and glass bridge, but had a twist ending of a game of musical chairs.

Beyond the almost half a million first-place prize, MrBeast also gave everyone $2,000 for competing, offered $4,000 to 22 people for leaving and gave second place $10,000 — making the total prize money of the replica Squid Game fall at a whopping $1.4 million USD ($1.9 million AUD).

But unlike Squid Game, the contestants in MrBeast’s Squid Game didn’t die when eliminated. Instead, a “wireless explosive” strapped to each player popped with brown liquid to replicate the gunshots that occurred in the show, while in tug o’ war and glass bridge contestants fell into a foam pit instead of to their deaths.

Really, the whole 30-minute ad-filled video has high-production value and undoubtedly would’ve taken a lot of work and money to get off the ground — and this is why so many people are finding issue with the concept.

Despite most of the Squid Game set being made with CGI and green screen, MrBeast painstakingly recreated the sets of not only the games, but the living quarters too. On Twitter, the YouTuber even bragged about how much the sets cost to construct. The amount? A whopping $2 million USD on the set alone and another $1.4 million in prizes.

“Recreating Squid Games [sic] js costing more then [sic] I thought it would but I’m in to [sic] deep to stop now lol,” MrBeast tweeted before someone flagged a lot of the sets were actually created with special effects.

But this excessive spending on the set of a money-driven competition designed for poor people is part of the problem. Squid Game is famously a show about the rich using poor people for their own entertainment by dangling the solution to their problems in front of them like a carrot, effectively exploiting those most in need.

Squid Game was a direct criticism of capitalism, excessive wealth and exploitation of the poor, and now the rich are recreating the show for amusement with makeshift gunshot wounds and coffins to make the “deaths” seem more real.

And sure, MrBeast might not have killed anyone in his version — and he did give each contestant money for competing — but you have to admit that a millionaire gathering 456 people up for a video that he knows will do well and bring in a whole lot of money is pretty tone-deaf.

Just how Chrissy Teigen was called out for holding a lavish ‘Squid Game party’ last week and Kylie Jenner was slammed for her Handmaid’s Tale-themed party in 2019, MrBeast and Teigen simply missed the entire point Squid Game was trying to make: Capitalism, and specifically the rich exploiting the poor, is bad.

Some have even argued that MrBeast blowing $3.4 million USD ($4.7 million AUD) on a single video is a major waste of money and would’ve been better spent if it was donated directly to charity. However, the YouTuber is well-known for the donations he makes to charity as it is.

Most recently, MrBeast started an initiative to raise $30 million to “save the oceans” by removing 30 million pounds of trash from bodies of water by January 1, 2022. This effort comes after the YouTuber raised $20 million in 2019 to plant 20 million trees in the successful version of the ‘We’ll plant one tree for every pet picture” initiative that happened on Instagram earlier this month.

But the issue isn’t whether a millionaire should’ve donated $3 million to charity or not. The issue is that a millionaire thought it was a good idea to ever spend $3 million to recreate a show that literally critiques frivolous spending for the entertainment of the rich like this.