What does the fact that two of the top 15 most influential males of 2012 are fictional characters say about the state of affairs today? It means there are a lot of Skyfall advertisements going around right now, and that it was nearly impossible to not hear about Fifty Shades of Grey this year.
James Bond took top honors in AskMen’s Top 49 Most Influential Males of 2012 poll, which received over 500,000 votes. Not to say Bond has never been influential (his suave image has been critically influential ever since his inception), but I’m sure the secret agent is riding high on Skyfall and this year being the 50th anniversary of the film franchise. Christian Grey has a somewhat less storied history, but Fifty Shades of Grey was kind of a big deal this year, so I guess he was, too, coming in at number 13.
Many others enjoyed a boost from big press at the right time. The NFL replacement refs came in at 14, which is appropriate, because it takes some very influential (to put it euphemistically) people to get NFL fans to actually appreciate the regular officials. Liam Neeson gets a boost from Taken 2. Snoop Lion probably got a bunch of votes because he changed his name to Snoop Lion.
Romney and Obama are running for president, so that makes them pretty influential, I guess. They came in at 24 and 11, respectively. Both failed to take top presidential honors – the man of the ’90s, Bill Clinton, looms large at number 3. Actors dominate the list, including a crop of rising young stars including Joseph Gordon-Levitt (5) and Ryan Gosling (10), bumping out older mainstays like George Clooney, was found himself off the list for the first time in the poll’s seven years.
There’s also John Maynard Keynes at 42, because that economy is hot in the news right now. Stars of the tech world also get their due, with the founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, taking the ninth spot and Amazon head Jeff Bezos taking number 23. Neil deGrasse Tyson at 25 proves that even astrophysicists can be stars in their own right. Of course, there’s also the omission of Mark Zuckerberg, which, love him or hate him (and no one has ever accused him of being popular), pretty much invalidates this entire list.
There’s a bunch of other surprise omissions and inclusions, if you’re interested. You can check out the full list at your leisure here.