Controversial YouTuber MrBeast claimed he could have been one of the five passengers onboard the ill-fated OceanGate Titan submersible that imploded in the Atlantic Ocean during a sightseeing dive to the Titanic wreckage.
MrBeast is a YouTuber whose social media content features expensive stunts leading to monetary rewards.
He was last under scrutiny for posting a video called "1,000 deaf people hear for the first time," in which he provided $3 million worth of hearing technology devices simulating sound to individuals and recording their emotional reactions.
They were also each given $10,000. Despite the celebratory tone of the video, some in the deaf community were offended and found the YouTuber to be exploitative with his philanthropy.
He also drew criticism for constructing a replica of the Squid Game arenas then pitting participants against each other for money and prizes.
Five passengers who each paid $250,000 to take part in the dive to visit the remains of the Titanic were presumed dead after officials on Thursday announced the missing sub experienced a "catastrophic implosion" hours after plunging into the depths of the Atlantic.
On Sunday, MrBeast took to Twitter, posting:
"I was invited earlier this month to ride the titanic submarine, I said no."
"Kind of scary that I could have been on it."
His tweet was accompanied by a screenshot of a text from a friend that read:
"Also, I'm going to the Titanic in a submarine late this month."
"The team would be stoked to have you along."
On iPhones, a user's text appears in blue if they are using Apple's iMessage app with another iPhone user. Incoming texts are in grey.
People questioned if this was a hoax after he showed a blue text bubble indicating he wrote the message himself and took the internet for a ride.
MrBeast explained in a follow-up tweet:
"My friend sent me the screenshot of when he invited me."
"Didn’t think to scroll up and screenshot our old texts myself."
His fans expressed relief he wasn't on board.
While some noted the YouTube star breathing a sigh of relief was a little tone-deaf given the nature of the tragedy.
The MrBeast YouTube channel has roughly 163 million subscribers to date.
It is the fourth-most-subscribed channel belonging to an individual influencer.