Familiarity Breeds Contempt

The Irony of Mr. Beast’s Squid Game

Layan Al-Khaled, Staff Writer

Jimmy Donaldson, more commonly known as “Mr. Beast,” is an enigma. Nothing exemplifies this more than his replication of the hit Netflix show Squid Game, a harsh critique on a capitalistic society that leaves the less fortunate in desperate, inhumane situations.

While Mr. Beast has utilized his platform to help others, his simulation of Squid Game is purely ironic. Squid Game aims to satirize the bourgeoisie’s exploitation of wealth by portraying desperate workers forced to compete in childhood games turned deadly in order to win a cash prize. Mr. Beast replicated exactly that, which is the root of the problem. 

Mr. Beast is incredibly wealthy. He makes no effort to conceal that as he surrounds himself with self-sponsored acts of humanitarianism. But instead of donating money directly to the needy, he exploits their need, spending $3.5 million to build an exact replica of the set of the show, where he can recreate the games (in less-deadly iterations). In so doing, he has turned a daunting warning into a prophecy only he feels fit to answer. 

Now, normally I would stumble upon such glaring irony and keep scrolling, but there is something so peculiar about others failing to see the flaws in his logic. “He perfectly replicated the game!” some might cheer. But is that not the issue in itself? Why spend $3.5 million to recreate a show and award the winning contestant $456,000, when nearly $4 million could be donated to organizations providing aid to struggling individuals and families—the very people the fictional Squid Game aimed to represent. What benefit did the recreation actually do beyond boosting the ego and influence of Mr. Beast? 

While Jimmy Donaldson shelters under the feeble safety of his golden-gilded humanitarianism, I cannot help but wonder if his care for others is genuine, or if it is merely a performance to gain views and likes? I will not draw conclusions over someone I have never met, but the idea still stands omnipresent: is Mr. Beast upholding the very system Squid Game attempted to condemn?