Jirard Khalil, known online as The Completionist, released a response video on Sunday to accusations that his family’s charity, The Open Hand Foundation, held over $600,000 raised over nine years instead of donating it to charity. The accusations spread throughout social media, issuing a warning call to other creators performing charity work online and to fans who are donating to their causes.
The Completionist YouTube channel, which has over 1.6 million subscribers, took a break from its regular content of Khalil completing video games to address these allegations, which stemmed from multiple videos released in the past few weeks by YouTubers Mutahar “SomeOrdinaryGamers” Anas and Karl Jobst.
According to the charity’s website, the organization was founded in memory of Khalil’s mother. It was “built to provide much-needed funding and resources toward research to find a cure for Frontotemporal Dementia.” The charity had two main forms of funding: a charity golf tournament and IndieLand, a live-streamed event where Khalil played and promoted indie games. The stream, which had been going since 2018, had articles claiming that the event raised $100,000 in 2021 and more than $80,000 in 2022 for dementia research.
In his response video on The Completionist YouTube channel, Khalil said that IndieLand will no longer “have a charity component” and that he will be stepping down from his role as a board member at The Open Hand Foundation. He also claimed that during IndieLand live streams, he had mentioned the names of a few charities the organization was “working with” when, in actuality, they had only “communicated or considered them.” He said, in hindsight, “It was not appropriate to make such statements.”
“Despite the recent donation, there is an argument that donors were misled by publicly made statements into thinking their contributions would immediately go to fund research and other efforts to cure FTD instead of sitting in a bank account earning interest,” Franklin Graves, a tech and media attorney told Passionfruit…