The biggest pop culture moments of 2022

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Will Smith and the Slap™ who rocked the Oscars

The 94th Annual Academy Awards were on track to become the most boring ceremony of all time, until a single Will Smith brainteaser made Oscars history — for all the wrong reasons. When host Chris Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who was bald (she suffers from alopecia), Smith took the stage and hit Rock in spectacular fashion before uttering the eight most unforgettable words of the night: “Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth!”

The crowd at the Dolby Theater was stunned, doubly so when Smith won Best Actor for King Richard minutes later.

It became known as the blow that set off a thousand thoughts as the debate over Smith’s behavior raged. The actor eventually apologized to Rock and the Academy.

Pros or Cons: Scammers Dominate Streaming

There’s never been a better time to be a scammer, or at least play one on television. Whether by design or by chance, the TV landscape is dominated by series targeting scammers, scammers and scammers. Hands up if you went deep down the rabbit hole while researching Shimon Leviev (and his enemies) after watching The Tinder Swindler on Netflix?

Or maybe you spent hours in the mirror perfecting Anna Delvey’s Euroblend accent after a binge. invent Anna† Let’s not forget Amanda Seyfriend as Elizabeth Holmes in the outage, oh, and the Puppeteer and Bad vegan. So many scammers, so little time!

Trial by TikTok: Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard

If you’ve even looked at social media this year, chances are you’ve been sucked into the viral vortex that was the smear battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The lawsuit quickly became known as the world’s first “TikTok lawsuit,” with social media feeds filled with clips of the trial.

Pete Davidson is still a thing

This is Pete Davidson’s second appearance in our biannual pop culture roundup. The former SNL comedian earned a spot on the 2021 year-end list after he started dating Kim Kardashian. The buzz around that relationship continued into 2022, propelled by Kanye’s unwavering commitment to take down “Skeet” via social media. Davidson got his own back while shooting a Netflix special, telling the crowd: “Is anyone else secretly hoping Kanye pulls like a Mrs. Doubtfire

My money doesn’t shake shake: Louis Theroux raps

Who could have predicted that polite British documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux would drop the biggest bang of the year? A testament to the power of TikTok, a rap for which Theroux wrote The weird weekends of Louis Theroux way back in 2000 it became a viral hit online. In February, Theroux re-performed the ‘jiggle jiggle’ rap on the YouTube series Chicken Shop Date

The clip took off and promptly made its way to TikTok, where the youth, of course, turned it into a dance challenge. The hashtag #jigglejiggle currently has 726.8 million views on TikTok, and if you log into the app, chances are you’ll hear the mellow tones of Theroux breaking out some surprisingly catchy bars: My money doesn’t shake, it folds, I’d love to see you wiggle, wiggle, sure.

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