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Idris Elba Is People Magazine‘s Sexiest Man Alive … But What Took Them So Long?

Idris has been the Sexiest Man Alive in our hearts since day one.

idris elba sexiest man alive

Here’s on election win we can all agree on: British smoke show Idris Elba has finally been named People Magazine‘s Sexiest Man Alive. The news is not shocking, especially to anyone with eyes, because Idris Elba has been a massive crush object ever since he landed stateside playing Stringer Bell on The Wire.

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Elba announced the news on Instagram, where he also encouraged people to vote in the midterms because our man is politically minded.

Elba’s naming comes after years of fans campaigning for the actor, who has appeared in the issue several times but never made the cover. His rabid fan base has also been rooting for Elba to take over the role of James Bond once Daniel Craig wraps his run as the international spy.

But why has it taken so long for this universally agreed-upon hottie to claim his rightful sexy throne? The answer, of course, is racism. People has been running the Sexiest Man Alive list since 1985, when Mel Gibson (oof, this list hasn’t aged well) was named the inaugural Sexiest Man. Since then, only three (three!) men of color have made the magazine cover: Keanu Reeves in 1994, Denzel Washington in 1996 and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2016.

Aside from racial bias, Elba has yet to have his massive breakout role. Sure, he has appeared in big franchise films like Star Trek Beyond and he’s well known to MCU fans as Heimdall in the Thor films, but these are not leading roles. 2017’s Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower was meant to vault Elba to leading man status but performed poorly at the box office. The romantic drama The Mountain Between Us also had a less than enthusiastic box office run.

But given Elba’s acting talents, good looks and natural charisma, he’s sure to find the right project to showcase his talents. Maybe it will be Hobbs and Shaw alongside The Rock and Jason Statham. Maybe it will be his upcoming role as Macavity in Cats (okay, probably not). In the meantime, I’m choosing to see Elba’s Sexiest Man Alive title as a good omen for today’s elections. Twitter has already jumped on the bandwagon.


(image: giphy)

(via People Magazine, image: STEFANIE LOOS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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