Alfie Deyes runs the channel PointlessBlog where he performs challenges, collaborations, answers questions — a bunch of general YouTube stuff. Though he’s got a robust following on his own, he’s especially notable for being the boyfriend of YouTube superstar, Zoella. He’s now facing heavy criticism for a video titled: “Living On £1 in 24 hours Challenge”. Though he has since removed the video, it showed him attempting to spend less than £1 on food over the course of a day.
In the video, he emphasized that the challenge only applied to food and drink. He could still put gas in his car or buy a bunch of expensive clothes if he wanted. But, instead of shining a light on real-world hunger, the 36-minute video focused on Deyes lamenting that he had to drink tap water, skip his morning cup of coffee, and winning a free box of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.
To many online, it appeared to be in poor taste. Brighton Girl wrote:
No words for Alfie Deyes latest ‘Living on £1 for the day’ video. Moaning about having to drink tap water and not have a coffee…this is people’s reality up and down the country every single day. The boy has absolutely no clue what it’s like to be below the poverty line.
— Brighton Girl (@BtonGirlProbs) June 16, 2018
The point of the matter is, this is a reality for some, and you’ll never have any idea what poverty feels like. Making poverty a game or entertainment is straight up offensive. https://t.co/4X8sxDtU1y
— Carlie🦥 (@techiemum88) June 15, 2018
@BootstrapCook, who frequently posts recipes on a budget, wrote:
And YouTuber JackMate took Deyes to task for failing to understand how his success and wealth have impacted his perspective.
Recent studies in the UK show that hunger is on the rise in Great Britain, with up to 8 million people regularly skipping meals due to being unable to afford food. With such a real and prevalent problem, it’s understandable that a millionaire talking about how hard it is not to use his expensive coffee machine would seem a little tone deaf. Worldwide hunger organizations have often talked about how much of the world lives on the equivalent of a dollar a day, and when others have done this, it’s always been with the goal of raising awareness about world hunger. It’s never been seen as suitable content for a fun, online challenge.
After taking in all the criticism, Deyes took down the original video and offered an apology.
In the 8-minute apology video, Deyes says he should have known better, will be donating the ad money earned from that videos, and thanks those who criticized him in a respectful and constructive way. He also took a moment to defend himself against accusations that he’s a member of Britain’s Conservative party.
Is this a career-ending mistake? Of course not. But it is very “first world problems” to be like “oh no, I’m out of K-cups! How will I survive?”
What do you guys think? How can Alfie make it up to his fans and maybe do justice to the issue of food insecurity? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.