November 30, 2021
Popular YouTuber MrBeast, who boasts 81.5 million subscribers, said he spent US$3.5 million on the elaborate reenactment, in which 456 contestants battled for the jackpot.
The social media star, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, said on Twitter that it cost him around $2 million to build and produce, while he spent around $1.5 million on prizes.
In addition to the six-figure first prize, Donaldson doled out $2,000 to every competitor and $10,000 to the runner-up.
The recreation included the same Korean children’s games played in “Squid Game,” such as Red Light, Green Light; marbles and tug-of-war —played within huge sets that took weeks to construct.
Instead, players were rigged with “wireless explosives” packed with fake blood that burst open when a player was eliminated. In the tug-of-war and glass bridge challenges, losing contestants fell into a foam pit rather than plummeting to their deaths.
Yet, true to form, the real-life “Squid Game” contestants were seen in footage of the game trembling as they tried to carve shapes out of honeycomb in the “dalgona challenge.”
According to the Post, the “Squid Game” reenactment isn’t the first time Donaldson has pulled off an extravagant stunt like this for his YouTube channel. Donaldson is famed for offering outlandish prizes to his online followers willing to compete in absurd challenges, such as when contestants stood in a circle for 12 days for $500,000 cash.
The social media sensation was the second-highest paid YouTube star in 2020—earning about $24 million and garnering some 3 billion views, according to Forbes.
But his latest video has attracted harsh criticism from viewers who slammed Donaldson for reenacting a game about rich people exploiting the poor for their macabre viewing pleasure.
Finally, in the latest, stunning development kickstarted by the original Netflix series, the stunt video was released just a day after a smuggler who sold copies of “Squid Game” in North Korea was sentenced to death by firing squad.
Research contact: @nypost