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The Onision Controversy Explained

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  • Controversial YouTuber Onision has been accused of predatory behavior by multiple women, with many claiming that he groomed them to have sex with him once they turned 18.
  • Many of these girls have spoken out, saying his partner Kai has aided him in this misconduct.
  • Chris Hansen has been speaking to many of the women involved and announced on Wednesday that the FBI is investigating.
  • Onision has denied the allegations and has posted a series of videos where he claims he is retiring but has continued to post online.

Who is Onision?

Controversial YouTuber Onision has been making headlines over the past week for a variety of reasons, including being banned from Patreon and posting videos claiming he is retiring. This follows years of accusations of grooming and predatory behavior.

James Jackson, known on the Internet as Onision and to many others as Greg, has been on YouTube since 2006. He has multiple channels with over one million followers and has been embattled in controversy for much of his time online. 

His now ex-wife Skye appeared in his videos, with some elements of his divorce in 2010 broadcasted online. One of his first major controversies to bleed into the YouTube industry, however, happened in 2012 when he was banned from VidCon. 

An ex-girlfriend of his made remarks that she felt he pressured her into having sex. He addressed these claims in a video and repeatedly referred to the number of people she had slept with and used her derogatory words including the word whore. He insinuated that because of this, she could not be sexually assaulted.

“To be only 26 and to have slept with over 20 people is ridiculous,” Jackson said. “And of course she goes to insinuate that when we did make love, that I was forcing her into it, that I was pressuring her into it and she didn’t really want to. That’s funny coming from someone who has slept with over 20 people.” 

This ended up landing him in hot water with a lot of YouTubers, several of whom posted videos of their own calling these comments slut-shaming. Some also said they believed Jackson was being accused of a serious crime and should not brush that off. Many people spread a petition that was actually a year old at that point, calling for people to unsubscribe from him and to get YouTube to revoke its partnership with him.

Because there was so much backlash and outrage over Jackson’s video, he announced on Facebook that he would not be attending VidCon. He said he received an email from VidCon founder Hank Green saying his presence could create a hostile and unsafe environment.

Accusations Against Jackson and Anderson

More recent controversies surround serious allegations against him. Several girls have claimed that Jackson and his partner Kai Anderson have groomed them from a young age to later be involved in a sexual relationship. The two have denied these allegations. Rogue Rocket reached out to Jackson and his team for comments regarding the accusations. They said that “any involvement regarding interview or questions is $10,000.”

Jackson’s relationship with Anderson began when Anderson was 17. At the time, Anderson went by the name of “Lainey” and identified as a woman. He has since transitioned and identifies as a male. When their relationship began, they would drive across state lines to legally have sexual encounters. They are now married with two kids, and many of the accusations claim that Jackson has used Anderson to lure girls in.

Sarah’s Story

One of the most recent incidents comes from a girl named Sarah. She began talking to Anderson and Jackson online when she was a 13-year-old fan, and was mainly interested in Anderson.

By the time she was 14 and 15, she claims they started texting and sent flirty messages, including a topless photo of her. Sarah says when she was 16, she was going through some personal and family troubles and she ended up moving in with Jackson and Anderson. She lived with them on and off for a couple of years.

Sarah claims that when she first moved in, the relationship was not sexual at all, though there were romantic insinuations like physical contact and cuddling. She added, however, that the relationship became sexual after she turned 18.

Sarah, now 19, did a livestream at the end of August discussing their relationship, which started a big conversation online. She ended up being interviewed by YouTuber Blaire White, who frequently posts about Jackson and the allegations against him.

“It hurts to say this, but I feel like they knew what they were doing,” Sarah said of Jackson and Anderson inviting her to live with them as a teenager in order to later have sex with her when she was of legal age. 

“Yeah. I think anyone watching this probably feels the same,” White responded. “That there’s no reason really to have a teenager move in with you, send the message they sent, and then conveniently and coincidentally be intimate with you after you turn 18.” 

In later interviews, Sarah explicitly said that she felt that she was groomed.

While speaking with White, she added that in the time before she turned 18, Jackson often forced her to act like there was nothing flirty about their relationship. She claimed he told her what to say in a video posted to one of his channels, despite her not wanting to be in it.

“He really pressured me into making it. And I didn’t want to,” she said. “I have bloopers of me literally having a mental breakdown, like sobbing because I was just so overwhelmed.” 

She added that he also would lie about their relationship.

“And also what hurt me a lot was having to watch him say ‘Oh we don’t even hug Sarah, we don’t even do this or that.’ And it’s like, I’m sitting there at 16 watching this like ‘yes you do,’” she told White. 

White also questioned Sarah about an NDA she was allegedly forced to sign. 

“You told me off-camera that you signed an NDA the morning after you were intimate with them for the first time,” White said. 

 “Yeah,” Sarah responded. “He and Kai decided that everyone in their life needed to sign an NDA and I was no exception to that. The NDA was 1000% for me to not do what I’m doing right now.” 

Shiloh’s Story

In September, not long after Sarah told her story, another girl by the name of Shiloh posted to Twitter about her relationship with Jackson. Many knew some details about her story, as they were public and posted on YouTube when they dated in 2011. This series of tweets, however, painted a larger picture.

Shiloh says she first began contacting Jackson when she was a singer in Canada. They would talk on Skype while he was still married to his first wife. She was 17, and Jackson told her about his divorce, adding that he loved her. 

Shiloh claims that he ended up meeting her in a hotel in Pennsylvania after researching that it would be legal for them to have sexual relations there. The first thing he said to her was, “I can’t wait to get you pregnant.”

When the police learned of Jackson’s presence in the hotel with Shiloh, she claims they asked him to leave. According to Shiloh, there were cameras present in the room and they searched for child pornography. Shiloh has since said that the cameras were not recording at the time. 

She says that after this encounter, he began to alienate Shiloh from her mother. He rented an apartment near where she lived and waited until she turned 18. He convinced her to get a tattoo with his name while she was still underage. 

The tweets then turn to discuss alleged incidents of control and manipulation. Shiloh claims he locked her out of a room while she cried and begged for him not to while he masturbated to porn. She also said that she sometimes slept next to his office chair so she could wake up and service him.

She claimed that he shaved her head during sex to degrade her and give her a list of rules to follow. She says she was told to not consume intoxicating substances, wear makeup or bras, have social media accounts without him knowing the password, among other things. 

At one turning point, she claims he filmed a breakdown while she was trying to leave him. She alleges that the police took her to a mental health facility because when he didn’t let her call her mom, she threatened suicide while he was on the phone with the police.

They broke up after this, but he “lured” her back in and let her pick an engagement ring.  She said that their sexual encounters were sometimes so aggressive she was in physical distress. 

Shiloh then says she became pregnant, but the fetus died and did not pass, meaning it was not a full miscarriage. She explained that she was at risk of going septic but he refused to pay for her healthcare. She ended up going back to Canada, where she ended up going into labor. 

He ended up posting a video announcing their break-up and she claims he cast her as a liar. 

While she was in the hospital, Shiloh’s mother hid her passport so she could not return to see him. Jackson gave her $1,100 to get a new one. She says she spent the money elsewhere and got away from him.

Billie’s Story

Another girl named Billie has also come forward with her story. She had posted about some of the toxic elements of their relationship before. In 2017, she tweeted that he wanted to punish her after she smoked marijuana. The punishments included getting a tattoo and chaining herself to a wall. 

She revealed more when speaking with Dateline and To Catch a Predator’s Chris Hansen. Hansen currently has a YouTube presence where he has extensively covered Jackson’s case. He has reached out to speak with Jackson, but Jackson said he would only speak for $350,000.

During her interview, Billie said that the relationship started when Anderson messaged her online. When she was over 18, she was flown out to meet Anderson and Jackson in person and visit them at their home. 

She claimed she was mainly interested in Anderson and had no idea what she was getting into when she visited the first time. Jackson was insistent that he watch the two of them kiss. On their first visit, she says nothing sexual happened, however, this changed when she came back again. 

She also said that she does not think anything illegal happened between her, Anderson, or Jackson, but noted that she felt they were always walking towards the line. Much of the time she visited overlapped with Sarah living there, and Billie did say that she felt something illegal could have happened with Sarah. She did not specify what laws may have been broken. 

Billie said that when the two were there, they would spend time with Jackson and Anderson’s kids and did a lot of “babysitting.”

“But if it was both of us, that’s what we were doing,” she told Hansen. “Babysitting, cleaning, helping cook food, just you know helping with whatever general grocery shopping kind of thing.

“Did you get paid to do this?” Hansen asked. 

Billie said she was not paid to do this but was paid for social media moderation.

“It sounds like they treated you like the help, and the help was expected to service them sexually,” Hansen said. “Is that fair?”

“Yeah, I feel like the dynamics just really weird,” Billie said.

She also claimed she had to sign contracts like Sarah did, saying she signed between four or five. 

FBI Investigation

Billie’s interview with Hansen ended with Hansen making an announcement. 

I should let you and our audience know that I did have a conversation with the FBI yesterday. We’re breaking news here,” he said. “And obviously there is evidence that some young women have that could very well be of interest to investigators.” 

He claimed that while Jackson and Anderson were careful when it came to their physical sexual relationships, there could be cases of transmission of child pornography. In a previous interview with YouTuber Daniel Sulzbach, also known by Repzion, Sulzbach said that there could be many cases of this. 

Sulzbach claimed that Jackson had deleted online forums after Hansen started talking about him online, likely because young girls were posting photos in those forum discussion threads. 

“There’s archived stuff of images of girls from the age of, literally 12, all the way to 16 or 17 years of age and they’re all scantily clad or sometimes just their underwear.” 

On Wednesday, Hansen told his audience that the FBI is investigating.

Recent Scandals and Content

Jackson has seemingly gone unscathed and remains on many of the platforms he has a strong presence on. This changed on November 26 when he was banned from Patreon for doxxing. 

He tweeted a screenshot of texts he said he sent to Billie, but included her phone number. The tweet was removed within an hour of it being posted, and Patreon considered this to be doxxing, which is a violation of their policy. 

“Yes, we removed Onision from Patreon as he violated our Bullying and Harassment as it relates to doxing,” they said in a statement to The Verge

Jackson responded to the news of his ban in a meltdown on YouTube that day, then followed with an apology video. On Wednesday he made another video where he announced his retirement, though it appeared to not be serious. 

He continued to post tweets throughout Wednesday, some of which contained sexually explicit language. He also tweeted a link to a new website for his fans. He did a livestream playing video games. 

On Thursday he posted another video called “left” where he packed his bags as though he was leaving. This video also contained meltdowns and appeared to have been made in jest.

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Too Faced Co-Founder Condemns Sister’s Post Calling NikkieTutorials a Liar After Coming Out as Transgender

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  • Massive Beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials came out as transgender in a new video that has been received with widespread praise.
  • However, fans were upset to learn that she was pushed to share her story after unnamed people threatened to leak the information to the press.
  • Too Faced Cosmetics then came under scrutiny when the cofounder’s sister made a snide comment about NikkieTutorials being a liar, continuing a long-running feud between the brand and beauty guru. 
  • The brand co-founder issued a statement condemning his sister’s behavior and said she is no longer employed by Too Faced.

Too Faced Apologizes

Too Faced Cosmetics co-founder Jerrod Blandino apologized Tuesday for his sister Lisa who called beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials a liar hours after she came out as transgender.

“I would like to make sure it is understood that although I love my sister very much, the things she says or does have absolutely nothing to do with me and do not in any way reflect me, my opinions, thoughts, or feelings nor speak for me or Too Faced in any way shape or form,” Blandino wrote in a post on Instagram stories.

“I am sorry for the hurt she has caused…I do not tolerate this behavior and she is no longer an employee of Too Faced,” he added before expressing how proud he was of NikkieTutorials for sharing her truth.

His post was later shared across the brand’s official social media accounts.

“I’m Coming Out” 

The backlash against Too Faced came shortly after Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, came out as transgender in an emotional 17-minute video posted Monday.

“I can’t believe I am saying this today to all of you, for the entire world to see, but damn it feels good to finally do it. It’s time to let go and be truly free,” de Jager said in the video titled “I’m Coming Out.”

“When I was younger I was born in the wrong body, which means that I am transgender,” she continued. 

The 25-year-old from the Netherlands, who has been posting on YouTube for 11 years, opened up about her childhood, explaining that she identified as female for as long as she can remember and began transitioning at a young age with the support of her mother.

De Jager said she had grown her hair out at the age of 6 and was wearing only girls clothing a year or two later. She started hormone treatments and growth stoppers at 14-years-old and “fully transitioned” by the age of 19. 

“I transitioned while on YouTube,” the beauty guru said. “And saying that right now seems so crazy to me because I have literally grown up and transformed into me in front of all of you.”

De Jager, one of YouTube’s top beauty creators who has amassed over 12 million subscribers, said she kept her story private for so long because she wanted to live free of labels and wanted her channel to focus on her art. 

However, she wanted to assure her fans that she is the same person they have loved and supported for years. “I am me. I am still Nikkie. Nothing changes about that,” she said. “The last thing I want in my life is for you to not trust me anymore, or to look at me with different eyes, or look at me in a different manner, or think that I have changed.”

Blackmail Attempt

While de Jager explained that she has always wanted to share her story with her audience, she admitted that she was doing so now after someone had threatened to pubically out her. 

“So today, I am taking back my own power and I have to tell you something,” she said before making her announcement.

Without ever naming who was behind the blackmail attempt, de Jager talked more about how it made her feel. 

“I have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press,” she said. “And at first it was frightening to know that there are people out there that are so evil that they can’t respect someone’s true identity. It is vile. It is gross and I know you are watching this.”

She claimed that those blackmailing her wanted to leak her story because they said she is lying and “too scared” to tell people who she really is. 

“I’m not scared,” she said directly to the camera before holding her middle finger up to the people who, “thought they could really mess up my life with that.” 

Praise from Fans 

De Jager’s announcement was met with widespread support from celebs, fans, and fellow YouTubers, many of whom were outraged at the fact that someone else had tried to leak her story.

Lisa Blandino Sparks Outrage

However, not everyone was supportive of the beauty guru. Twitter users and YouTube drama channels ready to defend de Jager against hate screenshotted a snide comment allegedly made by Lisa Blandino.

The screenshots showed that on her Instagram account @makupprincess, under the name Dani California, she changed her bio to: “Transgender huh? That’s not the only thing she’s been LYING about.”

Image
Source: @makupprincess

The comment appeared to signal a continuation of the long-running feud between the beauty star and Too Faced Cosmetics. 

In Shane Dawson’s docuseries about his collaboration with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Star once again accused Too Faced of massively underpaying de Jager for her 2016 makeup collaboration with them. According to Star, she received a $50,000 flat fee for a palette that brought them in over $10 million.

While de Jagger has not openly discussed much about her profits on the palette, she has previously mentioned frustrations over the quality of the product.

After screenshots of Blandino’s comment spread across the internet, many became upset that someone would take such a sensitive moment as an opportunity to tear de Jager down and felt that regardless of any feud, the comment was insensitive.

Enraged social media users began calling Too Faced disgusting and transphobic and soon after, the @makupprincess account changed its bio to read: “Let’s be clear, I love trans people & dislike anyone who lies to hurt others! Period!”

Source: @makupprincess

The comment further enraged internet users went on to call for a boycott of the brand. Some even accused Too Faced of possibly being responsible for blackmailing de Jagger.

See what others are saying: (NBC News) (Insider) (E! News)

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Two of YouTube’s Highest Earners Are Kids

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  • Forbes released its annual list of top-earning YouTubers, placing 8-year-old Ryan Kaji at the top spot with $26 million and 5-year-old Nastya Radzinskaya at No. 3 with $18 million. 
  • The stars have brought new attention to the popularity of kids’ content on the platform just ahead of new policy changes that will impact ad revenue for it. 
  • Several familiar faces were also on the list, including Pewdiepie and Dude Perfect, however many were surprised to see Jake and Logan Paul edged out of the top 10.

Kids Earn Big 

Two of YouTuber’s highest-earning creators of 2019 are under the age of 10, according to the annual YouTube creator estimates from Forbes. 

8-year-old Ryan Kaji, star of the massively popular YouTube channel Ryan’s World (formerly Ryan ToysReview) earned himself the top spot for the second year in a row with an estimated $26 million, based on pretax figures from June 2018-June 2019. That’s a jump from the $22 million that put him at the top of last year’s list.

The second-biggest earner of the year is Dude Perfect, the sports entertainment group known for various trick shots, stunts, and battle videos. 

But 5-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya is one creator on the list who is arguably turning the most heads. Radzinskaya, who moved to the U.S. from Russia in 2018, was born with cerebral palsy and doctors feared she might never be able to speak. To document her development through treatments, her parents decided to post videos of her so friends and family could watch her progress.

The videos started off as fairly ordinary child experiences like playdates with her dad or her pet cat, but she quickly gained a following from internet users all over the globe. Radzinskaya, who goes by Nastya or Stacy, now has a total of 107 million subscribers across her six different channels. Her most popular one, “Like Nastya Vlog” has 42 million alone. 

Nastya’s impressive following helped her bring in six-figure deals with brands like Legoland and Dannon, according to Forbes. Now she sits at No. 3 on their list with a whopping $18 million. 

Creators like Nastya and Ryan have opened people’s eyes to just how huge children’s content is on YouTube. Eyal Baumel, CEO of Yoola, a management company that specializes in digital stars including Nastya told Forbes, “YouTube is the most popular babysitter in the world.”

According to a Pew Research Center study done this year, videos with kids in them average almost three times as many views as other types of videos from high-subscriber channels. A separate study showed that 81% of parents with kids under 11 let them watch YouTube.

These young internet superstars, their parents, and the teams that represent them have made sure that their popularity transcends YouTube. Ryan for instance now has his own line of branded toys, clothing, and home goods that you can easily find at Target, Walmart, and Amazon. He also landed his own TV show on Nickelodeon and has a deal with Hulu to repackage his videos.

Nastya too will soon be launching a line of toys, a mobile game, and a book. 

Plans to expand to platforms outside of YouTube is probably a great idea of these child stars, especially as the potential for massive earnings on YouTube changes. In September, YouTube announced that it would be changing the way it displays ads on children’s content. 

The changes are meant to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act after the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James accused YouTube of illegally collecting personal information from children to show them targeted ads.

YouTube said it will remove personalized ads on kids’ content starting next year, but now many creators are worried that, along with their income, the changes could also impact other factors, like search results and recommendations. Others feel the FTC has not been specific enough about what YouTube should consider child-directed content and are worried about the future of their content. 

Who Else Made the List? 

As far as the remaining top earners, the list includes a comedy duo, several gamers, and one beauty mogul. Here are the remaining creators who made the top 10. 

  • #4 Rhett and Link – $17.5 million
  • #5 Jeffree Star: $17 million
  • #6 Preston (Preston Arsement) $14 million
  • #7 (tie) Pewdiepie (Felix Kjellberg)  $13 million
  • #7 (tie) Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) $13 million 
  • #9 DanTDM (Daniel Middleton) $12 million 
  • #10 VanossGaming (Evan Fong) $11.5 million 

As some have pointed out, Jake and Logan Paul are notably not on this year’s list, both of whom made last year’s top 10. Jake’s absence was particularly surprising since the YouTuber held the No. 2 spot in 2018 with $21.5 million while his brother placed 10th with $14.5 million. 

However, the Paul brothers have earned themselves a reputation for controversy and both stopped daily vlogging in mid-2018 to pursue other projects, so that likely had a huge impact on their annual YouTube revenue. 

See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (Variety) (BBC)

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Internet Reacts to Tana Mongeau Winning ‘Creator of the Year’ at the 2019 Streamy Awards

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  • Tana Mongeau beat out big creators like MrBeast and David Dobrik for the honor of “Creator of the Year” at this year’s Streamy Awards. 
  • Some, including YouTubers Peter Monn and Ethan Klien. were upset by the news and suggested that others were more deserving.
  • Others noted that the category is fan-voted and slammed critics for trying to discredit her win.

2019 Creator of the Year

YouTuber Tana Mongeau took home the coveted “Creator of the Year” award at Friday night’s Streamy’s ceremony to the surprise of many internet users and even Mongeau herself. 

The massive internet stars Mongeau beat out for the honor included Colins Key, David Dobrik, Emma Chamberlain, Lilly Singh, Loren Gray, MrBeast, Ninja, Safiya Nygaard, and Simply Nailogical.

“I don’t want to make a big deal out of this but it is not, it is not Davik Dobrik,”  fellow YouTuber Casey Neistat said before announcing the winner. 

“I’m sorry David, but you’ve won like every award tonight. It’s only fair,” Neitstat said to Dobrik, who had already picked up three Streamys for best First Person, Ensemble Cast (The Vlog Squad), and Collaboration (for a video with Kylie Jenner.)

“Give it to Tana,” Dobrik said before Neitstant confirmed that she was indeed the winner. 

Mongeau seemed completely shocked by the news. “I don’t feel like ‘Creator of the Year.’ I’ve never felt like ‘Creator of the Year.’ I feel like the misfit, the outcast, the fuck up. All of those things,” she said during her acceptance speech.

Just one year ago, Mongeau accepted the honor on behalf of Shane Dawson, who received widespread praise for his multi-part docuseries “The Truth About Tanacon,” Mongeau’s failed convention that hoped to rival Vidcon. 

“I think we can all agree this is the only time I’ll ever be holding a ‘Creator of the Year’ award,” she said at last year’s ceremony. 

Mongeau used this year’s full circle moment to thank Dawson. “I really just want to say thank you to the only people who saved my life and got me here and that is my fans and Shane Dawson.” 

“I never thought this would happen,” she added. “Here’s to all the people who don’t feel like ‘Creator of the Year,” she said while raising her Streamy in the air. 

Internet Reacts

Though Mongeau was met with cheers and applause at the ceremony, many internet users appeared to be upset by the news. 

While some were surprised that Dobrik did not take home the award, others felt the Streamy should have gone to MrBeast, who has recently made headlines for his massive campaign to plant 20 million trees around the globe. 

Popular drama YouTuber Peter Monn tweeted, “Mr Beast starts a project to plant 20,000,000 trees to help save the environment. Tana Mongeau has a failed MTV series & gets fake married and wins Creator of the Year. The Streamys are an absolute joke.”

Ethan Klien, of h3h3 productions, tweeted and deleted a sarcastic congratulatory post to Mongeau. “Thank you for being outrageously yourself and a positive role model for young people everywhere,” he wrote alongside two photos to suggest that Mongeau heavily edits her social media photos. 

Klien used the same side by side photos in a controversial video he made earlier this year about faking perfection online. “Well deserved!” he added in another post before removing the comparison photo.

But the most common question people had about Mongeau’s win was: “How?” 

Fan-Voted Award 

It’s not too surprising that many were outraged by Mongeau receiving the Streamy since she has been criticized as a bad influence on children and faced backlash over Tanacon, using the n-word, and charging her subscribers to watch the live steam of her wedding with Jake Paul, among other controversies.

However, many also noted that “Creator of the Year’ falls under the Audience Choice category, meaning that the award is fan-voted.

Many of her fans came to her defense online against those who felt she was undeserving.

“I wouldn’t discredit your favorite creator if they were the one that won, so please STOP discrediting mine & the rest of the fans that voted for tana,” one user tweeted. 

“@tanamongeau won because us, her fans, whose lives SHE impacted, voted for her. If you’re mad ur fav didn’t win why didn’t you vote? Stop saying she didn’t deserve to win when she won fair and square,” another wrote. 

Retweets and stand-alone tweets with a creator’s hashtag counted as votes for the category. According to Insider, Mongeau heavily campaigned for herself, unlike her competitors. If you look at the Streamy’s tweets for the nominees, posts for Mongeau have far more engagement in comparison to her competition. 

For instance, a post for Mongeau gathered over 2,000 retweets, while a similar one for MrBeast earned just over 100.

See what others are saying: (Insider) (Indy100) (ET Online)

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