If you’re still waiting for the silver lining to this year: YouTube Rewind 2020 won’t be happening. That’s the best Google can do, though we’ll take anything, at this point. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t appear ready to outright cancel this tradition for good. But it’s definitely putting it on hold for the time being. So, the end result will hopefully be the same.
Because it’s been a while since YouTube Rewind elicited anything but overwhelmingly negative reactions. The last time that happened was in 2017. And even that particular Rewind clip had a mixed response, at best. At least people won’t abuse Will Smith on social media for the third consecutive year due to a harmless video cameo. As for the cancelation at hand, the official statement from YouTube is pretty touching, all things considered. It’s even self-aware enough to acknowledge the biggest Rewind fiasco to date, as seen below.
Of course, the YouTube Rewind tradition goes beyond mere video compilations. The name itself originally denoted YouTube’s annual report on the most popular videos from the last 12 months. Well, cherry-picked to a substantial, advertiser-friendly degree, of course.
About Rewind this year. pic.twitter.com/oVayH8iyqG
— YouTube (@YouTube) November 12, 2020Sponsored Video
YouTube Rewind could be gone for a while now
But somewhere along the way, that harmless piece of corporate PR devised to create an emotional response from the general public in order to indirectly support Google’s unscrupulous pursuit of profit turned into something way less commendable. It turned into a massive source of cringe. Even the de facto YouTube boss admitted to that unfortunate turn of events. Then YouTube went on to create one more Rewind, for good measure. That one made people cringe so hard that even Will Smith’s celebrity status felt the world’s collective exclamation of pain.
Not that YouTube Rewind controversies were always so harmless. E.g. complaints about YouTube’s tone-deaf hypocrisy were a pretty widely discussed talking point not too long ago. In any case, this suspension may very well have been intended as permanent, or at least indefinite. But the company doesn’t really stand to gain anything from confirming something beyond the fact that YouTube Rewind 2020 won’t be happening.
Of course, forgetting everything about this year is a plan many would likely approve. Others might want to relive some older moments from more uplifting years. The playlist below brings a few of those, starting with YouTube’s original compilation from 2010. Other than that, stay safe, stay sane, and here’s to hoping we will have more things worth rewinding in 2021. Especially if a ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reboot is one of them, as was recently rumored.