YouTube’s “Rewind 2018” is a self-styled celebration of “the videos, people, music and moments that defined 2018.” The video is a whirlwind of D-list internet celebrities and cartoonishly over-the-top progressivism. And while the upbeat music and smiling faces try to lend this video a positive air, the YouTube community’s response is damning.
After being uploaded in early December, the video failed to impress users of the platform. With 13 million people giving it a thumbs-down, the video quickly unseated Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most disliked on YouTube.
And it’s not hard to see why.
Full of pop stars chasing fleeting internet fame, the video more closely resembles an Andy Warhol fever dream than a review of the year’s big moments. Comments on the video suggest that even many people who use the site were unfamiliar with the vast majority of featured YouTubers.
The video can be seen below. Be forewarned: It runs for over eight minutes.
Rewind 2018 opens with actor Will Smith. For many, he is the only recognizable person in the entire video. He looks at his phone, smiles, and says, “It’s Rewind time.”
The video quickly descends into abject chaos from there, likely a result of having to introduce over a hundred characters in less than 10 minutes.
Halfway through the video, we’re met with a circle of YouTubers around a campfire. The tone makes a ham-fisted shift from silly to serious. One woman says the focus of “Rewind 2018” needs to be on “everyone who managed to do something bigger than themselves this year.”
A host of faces are shown on the camera, each commenting something positive to come from YouTube. Apparently unimpressed by this line of thinking, one man suggested something else to celebrate in 2018.
“I think this year’s Rewind should focus on the fierce, fabulous and empowering art of drag,” he says.
Two men in full drag are then shown. No explanation is given as to why this is empowering or beneficial for society in any way, and the viewer is quickly spirited away to more liberalism.
Mentions are given to refugees, the homeless and apparent strides in “Asian representation in entertainment.”
In a moment that almost certainly was the final nail in the video’s coffin, one girl suggests the group “read the comments.” Users quickly gave YouTube staff plenty to read.
With remarks ranging from mild to explicit, over a million people took to the comment section to vent their frustration.
While some poked fun at the video’s confusing content and liberal slant, others hinted that this video is just the latest proof that the platform is going in the wrong direction.
“YouTube is so disconnected with their viewers now,” one fed-up user commented. “It’s not even funny.”
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