- The Washington Times - Friday, November 9, 2018

Idris Elba, recently named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, apparently isn’t just a straight man, he’s “relentlessly straight,” opined a U.K. newspaper.

An op-ed published this week by The Guardian claims that People has a flawed title that only rewards “decidedly masculine, established, patriarchal figures,” as contributor Caspar Salmon lamented the perceived preference for “lantern-jawed hetero” celebrities.

“The award, in other words, is relentlessly straight: this makes it feel weirdly detached from contemporary public discourse, which has clearly cross-pollinated with queer culture where the attractiveness of men is concerned,” the author wrote Wednesday.

The author then claimed that a “cult of masculinity” has a stranglehold on the world before continuing: “‘People’ has a duty to reflect all sorts of beauty, but its museum-like display of strong, mostly white, straight-acting men does tell us something about the dominant culture, and is, let’s face it, funny. … For now we celebrate Idris Elba as their least terrible pick in memory, and eagerly await sexy developments.”

People, however, had a different take on its nomination process.

“For a man to be sexy in 2018, we need to know that they are respectful of women and that there’s a kind of kindness and generosity of spirit about the guy,” Jess Cagle, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, said Nov. 5.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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