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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Alexandra Del Rosario

MrBeast claims he was invited to join the Titan voyage. Why some fans aren’t buying it

YouTube star MrBeast says he found it “kind of scary” that he could have been aboard the Titan submersible, which imploded last week as authorities searched for it.

The influencer, known for his excessively expensive stunt videos and viral challenges, tweeted Sunday morning that he was “invited earlier this month to ride the titanic submarine.”

“I said no,” he wrote. He also shared a screenshot of a text message of the alleged invitation. The text read, “Also, I’m going to the Titanic in a submarine late this month. The team would be stoked to have you along.”

The message, which was cut off in the screenshot, also seems to say, “I’m sure you’re also welcome to join.”

In the replies, followers expressed relief that MrBeast (who touts more than 163 million subscribers on YouTube) did not accept the invitation. Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee replied, “Uh yeah sheesh.”

Reddit co-founder and Angel City FC investor Alexis Ohanian tweeted, “We’re all very happy you declined dude.”

Others cast doubt on the YouTube star’s claim, with some suggesting it was an attempt at clout-chasing.

“wait why is the text reciept blue why are you making this up?” @JUNlPer tweeted.

Other users questioned why the alleged invite was blue — the color of outgoing iMessage texts, and not the gray of incoming texts.

“Uhm blue messages are the send,” replied another Twitter user.

“The text is blue… if you sent yourself this, that’s kinda sad…,” said a third Twitter user.

Hours after his first tweet, MrBeast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) addressed the speculation Sunday afternoon. Replying to @JUNlPer, the YouTuber said, “My friend sent me the screenshot of when he invited me. Didn’t think to scroll up and screenshot our old texts myself.”

Despite his explanation, some Twitter followers were still uncertain about MrBeast’s claims. A representative for MrBeast did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Monday.

The Titan submersible, used for tourist expeditions to view the wreck of the Titanic, went missing June 18 with five people aboard in the North Atlantic. Days after launching a search-and-rescue mission to recover the vessel and its occupants, the U.S. Coast Guard announced on June 22 that all five passengers died.

Underwater robots discovered seafloor debris that was “consistent with a catastrophic implosion.”

The five passengers were pilot and OceanGate Expeditions chief executive Stockton Rush, billionaire Hamish Harding, accomplished diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman.

“On behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John W. Mauger said at a news conference Thursday. “I can only imagine what this has been like for them. I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time.”

As news of the submersible dominated headlines, previous concerns and criticisms about the safety of the vessel resurfaced. “Avatar” and “Titanic” director James Cameron, who is a longtime member of the diving community and has ventured to the Titanic wreck 33 times, was among the people weighing in on the tragic implosion.

“People in the community were very concerned about this sub,” Cameron told ABC News. “A number of the top players in the deep submergence engineering community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and that it needed to be certified.”

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein responded to the filmmaker, noting he and “other experts” were not involved in the “he design, engineering, building, testing or even diving of the subs.”

Söhnlein added: “So it’s impossible for anyone to really speculate from the outside.”


(Los Angeles Times staff writer Alexandra E. Petri and Noah Goldberg contributed to this report.)


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