MrBeast asked his fans to help clean up his chocolate bar displays in Walmarts—and they’re doing it

MrBeast in front of his army of fans
Despite being worth over $500 million, MrBeast called on his army of loyal fans to clean for him - for free.
Dave Kotinsky—Getty Images

There are many advantages to getting your products into a major retail store.

As well as the obvious boost in sales, saying a store like Walmart is selling your wares lends credibility to a small business.

But there are also downsides: For one, you’re putting the control of how your stock is presented in the hands of store managers. 

So founders may be able to relate with the influencer-turned-business owner Jimmy Donaldson—otherwise known as, MrBeast—who has gone to pretty extreme measures to keep his products looking their best on store shelves. 

He took to Twitter to show side-by-side images of Walmart shelves sporting Feastables, the confectionary brand he founded last year—one messy, and one tidy.

The popular YouTuber known for his generous giveaways (like “curing 1,000 blind people”) then proceeded to ask his millions of loyal subscribers to return the generosity—by asking them to “clean up the presentation” of the chocolate bars in their local stores, until he hires “a team to do this routinely”.

Surprisingly, members of his army of fans have actually followed his command; less surprisingly, asking his followers to essentially work for free has been met with backlash. 

Unpaid labor

The notion that a millionaire would call on his fans, many of whom are children, to do unpaid labor has sparked fierce debate.

Some might argue that if consumers are voluntarily cleaning up shelves and engaging with the brand, then what’s the problem?

But at an estimated net worth of $500 million, it’s clear that MrBeast could easily pay for the staff he needs to tidy his products, and critics said that his choice to call on his fans anyway points to an abuse of loyalty and peak capitalism.

Twitter user, @StrewthQueen noted that MrBeast has “just unlocked a new form of capitalism” before adding, “I hate it here.”

“God, if I had 14 million every time a rich person asked poor people to do free labor…” another said

Other commentators turned to satire, mocking that MrBeast’s fans are irrationally loyal people who would go as far as to kidnap and torture hapless customers who disturbed Feastables displays.

“It’s fascinating to watch the stage of capitalism where people are honored to do free labor for rich people that don’t care about them because they feel some kind of connection and loyalty like a dog wanting a treat, only the treat is an imagined feeling of connection,” @DanDanTransient concluded.

The new world order

MrBeast fans’ eagerness to make the influencer “happy” also highlights the firm grip social media has on consumers today.

And while that might be a terrifying notion for some, many were in equal measures impressed. 

“Being able to tweet something like this AND have it make an ACTUAL impact on shelf space is a key reason why i think creator brands will dominate shelf space this decade,” @mws argued while adding that “no typical chocolate brand could get consumers to care enough to do this.” 

Similarly, @ItsJustinRhodes described “crowdsourcing the clean up” as “brilliant” while taking a swipe at the iconic chocolate brand Hershey’s.

“An amazing way to take care of the problem within your own influence. Proud of you. Watch out @Hersheys there’s a new and better way of doing things,” he added.

Plus you could be rewarded $5,000

Like many of his previous stunts, MrBeast’s latest call has a philanthropic element. People who send before and after images of their cleaning were promised (in a later follow-up Tweet) to have the chance to win $5,000. 

But it’s clear from the Twitter thread’s comment section that many fans weren’t aware of the monthly prize drawer, with some saying that they just wanted to help.

Since the March 3 Tweet, the YouTuber has further promised to give money to charity to show his appreciation (or perhaps to calm the mounting backlash).

“To show how grateful I am to everyone that helped tidy things up I’m going to donate $100,000 to charity. What charity should I donate to? Appreciate you all,” he wrote.

But a handful of Twitter users noted that the move does little to improve how apparently unethical MrBeasts’ free clean-up call to action was in the first place.

“How long until internet leftists decide that ‘no ethical consumption under capitalism’ also applies to MrBeast’s personal brand ventures?,” @bennyclams wrote.

Like any other business owner, the YouTuber is ultimately just trying to sell chocolate, the Twitter user added, so “we can stop pretending he’s some saintly left-adjacent content creator, he’s a capitalist.”

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