The unfortunate truth is that every day thousands of viral YouTubers are living with chronic ableism. While ableism is extremely preventable — and even curable if caught early — many YouTubers lack the education and common sense necessary to realize they are living with this terrible affliction.
After seeing Mr. Beast’s “I cured 1,000 blind people” video, we were so inspired by his pathetic lack of self-awareness that we decided to take the crisis into our own hands by curing him and 999 others of their chronic ableism. To ensure it would personally benefit us, we chose to cure these YouTubers in a cute video that we could monetize with ads.
You may be thinking, “How did you even find 1,000 ableist YouTubers?” But honestly it was pretty easy. Many online groups are affected by chronic ableism at disproportionately high rates, including beauty influencers, fitness influencers, big-hat smoothie girls, tiny-bun latte girls and guys who wear suits when they livestream from their basements. To find those suffering from the condition, we searched keywords like “hustle grindset,” “summer body,” “gym goals” and even just “inspiring.”
Once we found our 1,000 ableist YouTubers, we had to ask ourselves some really difficult questions. Questions like: “How can we best exploit this group for our own monetary gain?” and “Which thumbnail image makes it clear that we want to be seen as gods?” We thought about the moral implications of our actions for a solid forty seconds, but it made us sad and, even worse, bored, so we decided to move ahead with our plan.
To cure these suffering “people with YouTube accounts” (we decided at this point it would be better to refer to them using people-first language whether that’s their preference or not), we gave each of them a zine about how to be an ally. We also gave them links to a great resource to learn about ableism (our website) and a little button they can wear that says “#IWasCured.” We then cured them three or four more times from different angles until we got enough footage for our video, a follow-up video, a Patreon exclusive behind-the-scenes video, sixteen TikToks and a Netflix docuseries.
When the video was first published, we did wonder if people would see through our transparent manipulation and overall slimy behavior. Fortunately for us (which is all that matters), many YouTube viewers also suffer from chronic ableism, so they disregarded our blatant exploitation and simply smashed that “like” button.
by Steven Verdile