Shortlist for Time's 'Person of the Year' sparks major confusion

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By Asiya Ali

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The shortlist for Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year has caused commotion online.

On Monday (December 4), the magazine announced the nine candidates on the shortlist for the title this year.

As part of the annual tradition, Time selects from famous faces in the entertainment industry to leaders in the political world that have had "most influence on the world throughout the previous 12 months".

This means that it isn't required for the individual or individuals to have caused beneficial change but rather left a form of impact this year, according to the publication.

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Time’s Person of the Year is the annual title for the person, group, or concept that most shaped the headlines, for good or ill. Credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty

The names of the nine finalists for the publication's annual recognition are Taylor Swift, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, King Charles III, Trump prosecutors, CEO Sam Altman, Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, the movie Barbie, and Hollywood strikers.

To many, it's not a surprise that the 'Karma' songstress was selected this year, as the 33-year-old has been nominated for seven Grammys, embarked on her Eras Tour, and released a concert movie that surpassed $100 million in ticket sales globally one week before the film premiered.

The magazine also shortlisted Greta Gerwig's hugely successful film, Barbie, which gained over $155 million in North American ticket sales during the opening weekend in July.

Furthermore, Time also gave credit to the Hollywood strikers who joined the Writer’s Guild of America and the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG)-AFTRA in their protests for better pay and treatment.

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Taylor Swift was nominated for Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year. Credit: Gareth Cattermole / Getty

So, while a few of the prospects seemed to use their influence for good, some names on the shortlist sparked major confusion on X (formerly Twitter).

One shocked user questioned: "How in the world are Vladimir Putin, Taylor Swift, Barbie, and Sam Altman remotely comparable contenders for Person of the Year?"

"Okay… who had Barbie competing with Vladimir Putin for Time Person of the Year in their 2023 bats***tery bingo card?", another bewildered person said.

A third user slammed the magazine for "recognizing evil people, privileged people," and remarked that Swift was "unlucky to be listed amongst those undesirables".

A fourth quipped that the Mattel-doll-based flick "has far more humanity" than candidates like the 71-year-old Russian president.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin was shortlisted for Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year. Credit: WPA Pool / Getty

Meanwhile, some people explained why the publication's shortlist included Putin, penning: "It doesn't mean 'best person who did the best things', it means the person who had the biggest impact on world events that year, for better or for worse."

However, a second user was not pleased with that clarification and said: "Ok, if they insist... how about an honorable mention instead? In micro print somewhere down the bottom of the page instead of stroking his ego on the cover."

Time's 2023 Person of the Year will be announced today (December 6).

Featured image credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty

Shortlist for Time's 'Person of the Year' sparks major confusion

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The shortlist for Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year has caused commotion online.

On Monday (December 4), the magazine announced the nine candidates on the shortlist for the title this year.

As part of the annual tradition, Time selects from famous faces in the entertainment industry to leaders in the political world that have had "most influence on the world throughout the previous 12 months".

This means that it isn't required for the individual or individuals to have caused beneficial change but rather left a form of impact this year, according to the publication.

wp-image-1263239557 size-full
Time’s Person of the Year is the annual title for the person, group, or concept that most shaped the headlines, for good or ill. Credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty

The names of the nine finalists for the publication's annual recognition are Taylor Swift, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, King Charles III, Trump prosecutors, CEO Sam Altman, Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, the movie Barbie, and Hollywood strikers.

To many, it's not a surprise that the 'Karma' songstress was selected this year, as the 33-year-old has been nominated for seven Grammys, embarked on her Eras Tour, and released a concert movie that surpassed $100 million in ticket sales globally one week before the film premiered.

The magazine also shortlisted Greta Gerwig's hugely successful film, Barbie, which gained over $155 million in North American ticket sales during the opening weekend in July.

Furthermore, Time also gave credit to the Hollywood strikers who joined the Writer’s Guild of America and the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG)-AFTRA in their protests for better pay and treatment.

wp-image-1263239554 size-full
Taylor Swift was nominated for Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year. Credit: Gareth Cattermole / Getty

So, while a few of the prospects seemed to use their influence for good, some names on the shortlist sparked major confusion on X (formerly Twitter).

One shocked user questioned: "How in the world are Vladimir Putin, Taylor Swift, Barbie, and Sam Altman remotely comparable contenders for Person of the Year?"

"Okay… who had Barbie competing with Vladimir Putin for Time Person of the Year in their 2023 bats***tery bingo card?", another bewildered person said.

A third user slammed the magazine for "recognizing evil people, privileged people," and remarked that Swift was "unlucky to be listed amongst those undesirables".

A fourth quipped that the Mattel-doll-based flick "has far more humanity" than candidates like the 71-year-old Russian president.

wp-image-1263239553 size-full
Russian President Vladimir Putin was shortlisted for Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year. Credit: WPA Pool / Getty

Meanwhile, some people explained why the publication's shortlist included Putin, penning: "It doesn't mean 'best person who did the best things', it means the person who had the biggest impact on world events that year, for better or for worse."

However, a second user was not pleased with that clarification and said: "Ok, if they insist... how about an honorable mention instead? In micro print somewhere down the bottom of the page instead of stroking his ego on the cover."

Time's 2023 Person of the Year will be announced today (December 6).

Featured image credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty