Popular YouTuber MrBeast offered $10,000 for every day Josh Rock stayed inside a single room.
A TikTok suggested there was backlash against the challenge, comparing it to "solitary confinement."
Rock, who stayed in the room for 21 days and could leave any time, said he was never in any danger.
A man challenged to 100 days in a single room for YouTube star MrBeast's video has defended the influencer against accusations it was damaging to his mental health.
Josh Rock, whose Instagram and LinkedIn bios say he is the lead video editor for the MrBeast YouTube channel, responded to criticism of the challenge — which he says earned him $340,000 for staying in the room for 21 days — saying, "I was never in any danger, physically or mentally."
Rock was featured in a video titled "$10,000 every day you survive in prison" which was posted to MrBeast's channel on April 9 and has been viewed 38 million times. It showed Rock in a large windowless room that was initially stocked with entertainment items like a guitar, pool table, and hot tub, which he gradually had to discard each day as he earned another $10,000 throughout the challenge, according to the video.
According to the video, he was visited by MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, as well as others including his girlfriend, and appeared to have intermittent access to private chefs and professional cleaners, as well as a button he could press to exit and end the challenge.
While in the room, he was able to earn extra money by completing additional tasks, making his total climb an extra $130,000, according to the video. (Insider was not independently able to verify the video's contents or if Rock was paid that money.)
On April 13, Charles Peralo, a TikToker with 512,000 followers who posts about celebrity and influencer news, uploaded a video saying Donaldson's video was receiving backlash for "endangering" Rock's mental health.
Peralo said the room Donaldson used "was definitely not a bad place to be," but claimed, "people are still angry with MrBeast because they said he put the man through solitary confinement." Peralo concluded his video by suggesting the purported criticism was too harsh and "people just need to learn to relax."
@charlesperalo #greenscreen Mr Beast accused of endangering mental health. #mrbeast #squidgame #hollywood #celebrities ♬ Hedwigs Theme-Harry Potter - The Berlin Festival Orchestra
It's unclear what criticism Peralo was referring to. Underneath one of Donaldson's tweets about the video, one person replied, "Solitary confinement is considered a form of torture in many places, I don't like the direction the videos are going," but the rest were mostly positive. The response in the YouTube comments section was also overwhelmingly positive.
Solitary confinement is a form of imprisonment that forcibly keeps a person in a room or cell on their own, with little to no contact with others. In recent years, a number of US states have created new legislation to prohibit its use in prisons, due to concerns about the risk of self-harm and suicide.
On April 14, Rock responded to Peralo by tagging him in a TikTok video where he said, "I'm actually the contestant from that video and I can assure you that they had people watching over me 24/7, making sure that I was never in any danger, physically or mentally. They had everything taken care of. It was a great opportunity for me. Everyone needs to relax a little bit."
@josh_the_snake people be causing problems that don’t exist… haha original vid by @Charles Peralo ♬ original sound - Josh the Snake
Donaldson, who has 94 million YouTube subscribers, is one of the most-viewed and highest-paid creators on YouTube. He is known for giving away large sums of money on his channel during challenges and games.
In May 2020, he posted a video titled, "I spent 50 hours in solitary confinement," where he attempted to sit inside an empty room on his own to avoid doing a forfeit of getting dunked in slime. The video now has 170 million views.
Insider reached out to Donaldson for comment.
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