- President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that TIME Magazine told him he was “probably” going to be named 2017’s Person of the Year but that he “took a pass.”
- Celebrities in the entertainment and sports universe swiftly laid into Trump, who has been preoccupied with the “Person of the Year” title since before he launched his political career.
Sports and entertainment celebrities had a field day with President Donald Trump’s claim about passing on being Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year.
“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
Time disputed Trump’s tweet, saying he was “incorrect” about its selection process for the award. “TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6,” the magazine said in a statement on Twitter.
As the controversy unfolded, prominent figures in the entertainment and sports industry weighed in to mock the president.
“Time Magazine called to say that I was DEFINITELY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year’ but I would have to agree to leak major #Ep8 spoilers,” tweeted “Star Wars” veteran Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. “I said ‘no problem’, but then they told me you turned it down and now I don’t want it anymore. Thanks anyway!”
“Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus threw in her two cents as well.
“.@nytimes just called to say I was PROBABLY going to be named comedienne of the year but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” she tweeted. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
Trump’s tweet also drew scorn from Ava DuVernay, who directed “Selma” and the upcoming film, “A Wrinkle In Time.”
“Nobody cares,” DuVernay said in response to the president’s claim.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 24, 2017
Sports icons like tennis star Andy Murray and New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard chimed in with their own takes.
Bbc just called to say I was PROBABLY going to be named sports personality of the year but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) November 24, 2017
Sports Illustrated called and said I was probably going to be Sportsman of the Year, but it was going to take a long photo shoot and interview. I’m not proud of my recent perm and have a interpretive dance class at the interview time so I turned it down! No Thanks SI!!
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) November 25, 2017
Actor Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and currently stars in “Star Trek: Discovery,” jabbed Trump by referencing special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation.
“The #MuellerInvestigation just called and said you were PROBABLY going to be named Soap Monitor on your wing and would have to agree to an interview and a perp picture with your combover shaved off,” Isaacs tweeted. “I said that’s waaaay f—— good enough for me. #TimeToStartPacking.”
Conservative commentator and frequent Trump critic Bill Kristol also alluded to the investigation, tweeting that he didn’t know who 2017’s Time Person of the Year would be, but he hoped Mueller would get the honor in 2018.
I don’t know who’ll be Time’s 2017 Person of the Year, but I must say it would be nice if Robert Mueller turns out to be Time’s 2018 Person of the Year.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 25, 2017
Actor and comedian David Schneider lampooned the president as well.
Hollywood just called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named the next James Bond but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) November 24, 2017
Venerated author Joyce Carol Oates said her cat was slated to become TIME Magazine’s “Feline of the Year” but declined to be interviewed because “she is a cat.”
And Oscar winner Patricia Arquette wrote in response to Trump’s tweet that he could just print himself “another fake cover.”
You can always print yourself another fake cover.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) November 24, 2017
Trump’s interest in TIME’s cover predates his political ambitions
Arquette was likely referring to a Washington Post report which found that a framed copy of a fake Time magazine cover featuring Trump’s photo hung in five of his luxury golf clubs.
“Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” the headline on the fake cover read. There was another headline, written in all caps, above the TIME logo: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!”
“We couldn’t comment on the decor at Trump Golf clubs one way or another,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in response to the June report.
Trump’s preoccupation with Time magazine and its “Person of the Year” award took root long before his political career took off.
“I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100…,” he tweeted in 2012.
“The Time Magazine list of the 100 Most Influential People is a joke and stunt of a magazine that will, like Newsweek, soon be dead. Bad list!” he tweeted in April 2013.
After throwing a slew of insults at the magazine between then and 2015, Trump praised it for including him on its cover in August 2015, as his presidential bid jumped to the top of the polls.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2015
He later soured on the magazine, however, when it named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its 2015 Person of the Year.
“I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite,” he tweeted. “They picked person who is ruining Germany.”
The magazine made it back into his good graces in early 2016, when he made the cover again, and later that year, when he was finally named Person of the Year after winning the November election.
“Thank you to Time Magazine and Financial Times for naming me “Person of the Year” – a great honor!” he tweeted.