Video of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars tops YouTube chart

Guardian clip which attracted more than 103m views and 1.5m likes was highest trending in UK this year

A Guardian video of the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars was the top trending video on YouTube in the UK this year.

The uncensored clip of the smack that reverberated around the world has racked up more than 103m views and 1.5m likes on the video-sharing website.

It shows the moment in March when the Hollywood actor mounted the stage at the Academy awards and slapped Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her shaved head, which is a result of her medical condition, alopecia.

A shocked Rock then addresses the audience, saying: “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me”. Smith returns to his seat and shouts “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth” as stunned members of the audience look on.

The video quickly went viral and made headlines around the world as actors, celebrities and 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. Two days after the slap, he issued a public apology to Rock and the Oscars production team.

The video topped the trending lists for several countries, and was second on the US list.

The categories in the top trending lists 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 results are based on a range of factors beyond just views, and include engagement and signals, such as the number of shares and likes.

The second top trending video of the year was the Sidemen charity football match which was livestreamed on 24 September and has more than 27m views and 1.1m likes.

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

The video shows the full match between Sidemen FC and rivals YouTube Allstars in the 2022 Charity Match at The Valley, Charlton, and raised more than £1m. It includes a performance by the electronic music duo Chase & Status.

Storm Eunice also made an appearance in this year’s trending videos list, while Big Jet TV’s commentary on jets trying to land at Heathrow ranked at No 7, just above the livestreamed conclusion of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial.

The nine hour-long video, posted by the YouTube channel Law&Crime Network, has more than 24m views and was followed live as jurors reached a verdict in the Hollywood actor’s multimillion dollar US lawsuit against his former wife.

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

Jen Jamie, YouTube UK’s director of communications, said the lists gave “a valuable glimpse into what people in the UK were most curious about”. She added: “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.”


Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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