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Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap revealed as UK’s top trending YouTube video

Will Smith attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2022.
Will Smith attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2022.

Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap has been revealed as the UK’s top trending YouTube video of the year.

The clip, shared by Guardian News, has racked up over 103 million views and shows the uncensored version of the moment the Hollywood actor stormed the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife.

The 1 minute 23 second-long video, which has 1.5 million likes on YouTube, shows the moments before Rock makes a joke about actress Jada Pinkett Smith and her shaved head as a result of her medical condition, alopecia, at the Academy Award ceremony in March.

The 94th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March.

Her husband is then seen storming onto the stage where he slaps the comedian across the face, to which a shocked Rock addresses the audience saying “Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me”.

Smith returns to his seat and is then heard shouting: “keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth” at Rock, as stunned members of the audience look on.

The video quickly went viral at the time and made headlines across the globe as actors, celebrities and even politicians took to social media to commend or condemn the incident.

Smith was subsequently banned from all Academy events or programmes for 10 years following his “unprecedented” behaviour at the 94th Academy Awards and two days on from the slap, he issued a public apology to Rock and the Oscars production team.

The categories in the top trending lists have been put together by the YouTube Culture and Trends team and include: the UK’s Top Trending Videos of 2022, the UK’s Top Shorts of 2022, Top Creators of 2022 and Top Breakout Creators of 2022.

The findings are based on a range of factors, beyond just views, that indicate how ‘trending’ a video is by considering engagement and signals like the number of shares and likes.

Sidemen FC VS YouTube All Stars charity match
KSI speaks to Sky Sports before the Sidemen FC VS YouTube All Stars charity match at Charlton Athletic FC�s The Valley, London.

The second top trending video of the year has been revealed as the Sidemen charity football match which was livestreamed on September 24 and has over 27 million views.

The three hour-long video was posted to the Sidemen YouTube channel, which was formed by a group of British YouTubers and fronted by boxer, musician and social media personality KSI, who produce videos of various challenges, sketches, and video game commentaries.

The video shows the full match between Sidemen FC and rivals YouTube Allstars as they took part in the 2022 Charity Match at The Valley, Charlton and raised over £1 million for charity.

The match coverage, which has received over 1.1 million likes, included a performance by electronic music duo Chase & Status and eventually ended 8-7 in favour of the Sidemen after two late goals.

Storm Eunice also made an appearance in this year’s trending videos list with Big Jet TV’s commentary on jets trying to land at Heathrow ranking at number seven, just above the livestreamed conclusion of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial.

Johnny Depp court case
The livestreamed conclusion of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial ranked eighth on the UK’s Top Trending YouTube Videos of 2022.

The nine hour-long video, posted by YouTube channel Law&Crime Network, has over 24 million views and followed live as jurors reached a verdict in the Hollywood actor’s multi-million dollar US lawsuit against former wife Amber Heard.

Following six weeks of evidence and roughly 13 hours of deliberation, jurors returned a verdict in favour of Mr Depp and the actor was awarded compensatory damages of 10 million dollars (£8 million) and a further five million dollars (£4 million) in punitive damages.

Meanwhile, American YouTuber MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, has been named as the top creator for 2022, followed by the Sidemen’s channel in second place.

In July MrBeast, who creates videos featuring huge cash giveaways and prizes, reached 100 million subscribers and became the most-subscribed YouTuber on the website.

MrBeast’s videos include challenging large groups of people to take part in extreme challenges for a chance to win the top prize, including one video where he gifts one of the winners their own private island.

British prankster Jamie Nyland, who has 6.2 million subscribers, has been crowned the UK’s top breakout creator.

Brothers Nicolas, Matthew, and Christopher, known as the Sturniolo Triplets, came second for their laid-back car vlogs which have amassed over 3 million subscribers this year.

Jen Jamie, Director of Communications, YouTube UK said: “Ever year, the YouTube End-of-Year Top lists give us a valuable glimpse into what people in the UK were most curious about.

“YouTube is the place where everyone comes to see what has and is happening in the world while participating in, and having an impact on, today’s culture.

“Whether it’s Shorts creators delighting millions, or events such as the Sidemen charity football match, 2022 was an important year for us all and we cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for us.”