Outside of the debates of what’s going on in American politics and the latest Hollywood scandals, the biggest debate this week has been the pick of Blake Shelton by People magazine as the sexiest man alive. The discussion got heated when it became apparent that, in the past 20 years, with the exception of Dwayne Johnson, People has not picked any men of color to grace their cover. Now, it may be hard to gauge exactly what People magazine wants for their picks, but their bar must not be high and if you consider their other 20 picks, then Blake’s inclusion may have actually lowered their standards. Not to mention, some of his racist and homophobic tweets have resurfaced as well.
With that said, here is a list of men of color more worthy (at least in our opinion) than Blake Shelton. No particular order by the way.
While his career may have started around the same time as Shelton’s, it’s impossible to ignore all of the awards that Ali received last year for Moonlight, which also included the Oscar for Best Actor. Also, before his villain nod in Luke Cage, he was playing super heroes before it became cool in The 4400.
Speaking of super heroes, while many of us are anticipating his feature length Black Panther movie, we have seen him play in less than 10 years, Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall. Just by bringing these historic figures to life and seeing how dignified he made Black Panther in Civil War, fans can’t wait for February.
This man has been around for nearly 20 years and most of us paid him no mind until Star Wars: The Force Awakens or X-men: Apocalypse. If you want to see some roles that put him on the map, then check out Robin Hood, Sucker Punch (he was really sleazy there) and biggest of all, Ex Machina. As a matter of fact, some are still wondering how he did not get an Oscar nod for his supporting role for that movie.
In so many ways, Idris is just as (if not more) accomplished than some of the people who made People’s list, and certainly more than Shelton. Idris has done everything from movies to television and even DJing. In the 25 years he has been active, he has played Stringer Bell, Nelson Mandela, John Luther and so many more. Him never gracing People’s list is almost a head scratcher…or is it?
Come on now, if Richard Gere has been on the list, how has Morgan Freeman not, considering that his career has lasted longer than Gere’s? We are talking about a man who has played God (and that wasn’t even anywhere near his high point) vs. a man that established his career as a hooker.
This list would be incomplete without Denzel. Take nearly everything said above about Morgan Freeman, add in many of the substantive roles that he has done including Malcolm X, Ruben Carter, and William Whitaker. Also, the cherry on top? Two Oscar wins and a new movie that is releasing as we speak.
I will go on record by saying that John Cho is one of the most underrated actors right now. Some of us remember him as the MILF guy in the American Pie films but knows that he really didn’t break out until he starred in the Harold and Kumar trilogy. Then of course, he was tapped to play Mr. Sulu in the Star Trek reboot in which it was revealed that this version of Sulu was gay. One can’t ignore his TV credits as well which includes Sleepy Hollow, appearances on Ugly Betty and The Exorcist.
Esai Morales and Jimmy Smits
I have to say that these picks are slightly biased for me because I have met these men personally and they are some really affable people to be around. These men don’t talk down at you; they actually talk TO you. Both are very active in the Hispanic Arts community doing charitable work. Imagine my chuckle realizing that both had substantive roles on this season’s How to Get Away with Murder.
Michael B. Jordan
Another Wire alum, we have seen Jordan really shine in Creed. Prior to that however there was Fruitvale Station based on the real life death of Oscar Grant for which he received many nominations and awards. He will also be starring opposite the aforementioned Chadwick Boseman in the upcoming Black Panther movie.
It can’t go on without saying while Blake Shelton was making waves on People magazine; Colin Kaepernick also made the cover of GQ.
The big difference is, Colin is not being chosen for something superficial, he is being chosen because his civil actions actually got people’s attention and sparked conversation. He has also been very active doing charity work while still waiting for the NFL to get out of its own way and let him play. The most Blake has done this week is tweet #donthatemebecauseIambeautiful.
This is a short list and we know we missed a few like Naveen Andrews, Jesse Williams, Chiwitel Ejifor, Jason Momoa, Shemar Moore, and a few others. The point is, there are many more actors and entertainers with more extensive pedigrees than those picked by People magazine. Thus we would like to hear from you who else you would include on the list in the comments below.