It is us, your fellow creators-slash-influencers (non-SAG-eligible edition). We just wanted to offer a huge congrats for your wins at The Streamy Awards on Saturday, where you nabbed not only Best Collaboration on-stage at The Streamy Awards, having nabbed both Best Collaboration for your The Rock, paper, scissors challenge (a vertical short, no less! Bless your heart!) – as well as the night’s highest honor, the coveted Creator of the Year.
But we’re also a little concerned? While scrolling Deadline desperately looking for information regarding the ongoing Hollywood labor strikes and why our non-paid, non-promotional videos are now considered scabbing, we stumbled across this glimpse into your psyche.
Look, we get it: the pressure to maintain your status as the #1 YouTube personality – not just maintaining but GROWING your Guinness world record-holding 179+ million subscribers – would cause any of us a few sleepless nights. (Though for $4-9 million per MONTH in revenue, we could probably afford to toss and turn in a nice fluffy bed instead of an old fold-out futon.) The life of a creator isn’t easy, and the hashtag hustle culture is real.
But this isn’t the first time you, Beast… may we call you Beast? Jimmy? Jim? MrDonaldson?… have made such a blatant cry for help, it may as well have been a thumbnail. (“I spent 14 YEARS spent LOCKED into TRAUMATIC LEVELS of INTERNET CELEBRITY CULTURE…for $2.1 BILLION DOLLARS.”)
In June, you were on The Colin and Samir Podcast, ostensibly to talk about how much you’re crushing it. Which started out with you boasting you had another 20-30 years left and weren’t going to fall victim to the same fate as so many other creators before you, contrasting yourself with how, “In the past, every big creator always seemed to get burnt out at some point. It seemed like this inevitable thing. Eventually, you get burnt out. I’ve heard this a million times.”
Like your dethroned predecessor PewDiePie, who previously held the #1 YouTube personality slot from 2013 until 2017, when a series of PR fumbles and racist rants caused him to quit the internet.
But somewhere the cracks began to show as you moved from the script about how your passion for YouTube is going to buck the burnout trend and a more honest psychologically accurate assessment of your lifestyle.
“I’m on a treadmill maxed at 12 and I f—in’ hacked it to go 24 miles an hour. I’m running full speed, and I haven’t stopped for a decade.”
Also: “I’m miserable a lot of times. I have a mental breakdown every other week because I push myself so hard.” Bro.
Here’s the thing JimmyBeastWorld (can we call you that?): you need to take a vacation. Please. We’re begging you. Go touch grass, as the kids might say (of course they say that, we ARE they). Not just for your own health but for ours. You’re the aspirational IDEAL of what success as a video content creator should be, and with great klout comes great responsibility.
You’re the one up on stage accepting awards for Best Creator while wading through the inevitable PR disasters like the time you called Palestine a country but not Taiwan and the time you too were called out for scabbing. To paraphrase Bo Burnham, you have “all eyes on you.” Or if you’re more of a Lin-Manuel guy, “Internet has its eyes on you.”
So you need to take a break. Because if you don’t you’re sending a message that WE shouldn’t, not if we want to succeed and be as successful as you. Do you want to be as successful as you? Would you trade in hanging out with Tom Brady on a $1 yacht or whatever for a three-day weekend or all-expenses-paid staycation, buried under your (we imagine) gold-spun coverlets?
If we as creators keep the mindset that this is a 24/7 job, we’re falling into the same trap we promised to leave behind by eschewing the traditional 9-5. No employer would ever take a 13-year-old BabyBeast and force him into a decade of hard labor. That’s uh, illegal? (For now.) But we implant this idea in kids that age and younger that this nonstop grind is what it takes to succeed as an influencer…and considering that’s how 1/4th of Gen Z is banking on for a career, we need you to set an example and just like…chill out.