The $150 Million MrBeast Lawsuit Explained
— 8 August 2023

The $150 Million MrBeast Lawsuit Explained

— 8 August 2023
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

Say what you will about his particular brand of philanthropy-for-views. At face value, the net positive of the world’s biggest YouTuber, MrBeast (real name: Jimmy Donaldson), far outweighs the negatives — that is unless you’re Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC), which has just filed a lawsuit alleging US$100 million (AU$150 million) in damages.

Precisely what are the ghost kitchen company’s grievances against the Gen-Z Willy Wonka meets new-age Gatsby of internet virality? As it turns out: a simple breach of contract and “business interference.”

According to the filing obtained by Forbes, which was lodged with the Supreme Court of New York, VDC alleges that Donaldson failed to meet the promotional obligations of their partnership (vis-à-vis MrBeast Burger, established during COVID-19), in addition to making “baseless” and “disparaging comments” that caused the company irreparable reputational harm.

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Referring specifically to deleted tweets in which Donaldson recently expressed interest in ending said partnership, as well as how he’d apparently signed a “bad deal”; VDC claims to have lost vendors, suppliers, and customers, amounting to damage somewhere in “the fine-figure range.” Hence the claim for US$100 million.

“This case is about a social media celebrity who believes his fame means that his word does not matter,” reads the MrBeast lawsuit.

“… that the facts do not matter, and that he can renege and breach his contractual obligations without consequence — He is mistaken.”

The $150 Million MrBeast Lawsuit Explained

Considering his enviable online influence — 174 million YouTube subscribers on his main channel alone (making him the most-followed creator in history); 86 million TikTok followers; 40 million Instagram followers; 23 million Twitter followers — one could certainly see the argument.

This comes to light shortly after MrBeast filed a lawsuit against both VDC and its parent company Celebrity Virtual Dining, seeking to terminate the deal for his restaurant chain; thereby cutting ties with the MrBeast Burger brand once and for all.

Donaldson himself has alleged the products being served are “disgusting,” “revolting,” and “inedible,” as well as citing harm to his own reputation. Dismal customer reviews citing poor food quality appear to support this statement.

The $150 Million MrBeast Lawsuit Explained

“I started MrBeast Burger to help restaurants make more $ during the pandemic and it worked!” he tweeted.

“But sadly when working with 2,000 restaurants I don’t own it’s impossible to guarantee the order quality. I’m moving on from MrBeast Burger so I can focus on Feastables and making snacks!”

Hours later, he would delete the above, as well as the initial MrBeast Burger announcement video; revealing the chain would continue to be operational as VDC wouldn’t allow the business to shut down when prompted by a fan.

“I would if I could. But the company I partnered with won’t let me stop even though it’s terrible for my brand. Young Beast signed a bad deal.”

MrBeast Burger Deleted Tweet

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Donaldson added: “If I had the ability to close it, I would have done so a long time ago sadly. Sometimes when [you’re] young, you sign a shit deal.”

“VDC looks forward to holding Mr Donaldson and Beast Investments accountable for their actions,” the Celebrity Virtual Dining subsidiary recently told Kotaku.

“In the meantime, it is business as usual for MrBeast Burger and VDC to the greatest extent possible, and VDC looks forward to serving many more satisfied customers and continuing to help the restaurant industry.”

It’s a far cry from the staggering success previously named the “fastest-growing restaurant brand” in the US by Forbes with 1,700 virtual locations in 2022 and even a local presence here in Australia via Uber Eats. But it’s where things currently stand.

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Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]

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