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Tumblr protests Time magazine over Cumberbatch cover snub

Cries of “Damn you, Texas” echoed across the Internet today—but not for any of the usual reasons.


Aja Romano


Posted on Oct 17, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 3:58 am CDT

Cries of “Damn you, Texas” echoed across the Internet today—but not for any of the usual reasons.

No, today, Texas’s only sin was barring Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch from ascending to his rightful place as world ruler of Time magazine covers.

The Fifth Estate actor has a meaty profile in the Oct. 28 issue of the magazine. It’s no surprise that the man recently topping any number of “Sexiest Man Alive” polls warranted a dishy cover shoot; what’s puzzling is that he failed to warrant a nod in the U.S. edition. Instead, a diagram of Texas took the cover instead. It‘s for an article about the country’s fastest-growing state.

Time senior editor Sam Jacobs first noted the covers on Twitter:

Photo via ellievhall/Tumblr

Why is @Time hiding Benedict Cumberbatch from Americans?

— Sam Jacobs (@sampjacobs) October 17, 2013

Cumberbatch has been making the magazine rounds as part of the promotional campaign for his Julian Assange tell-all The Fifth Estate. That’s meant good news for Sherlockians. But U.S. fans weren’t too happy that Cumberbatch had been denied a Time magazine royal flush. They took to Tumblr in droves to question the decision. “It’s insulting and rude,” wrote Tumblr user someday42. “It’ll also keep me from buying your magazine.” Another user, watchmeruncleverboy, wrote:


I will be complaining to the Time Magazine Tumblr today for NOT putting Benedict Cumberbatch on the U.S. cover. We get Texas. COMMON!


Still, plenty of people were celebrating:

Loving Cumberlord,

Thy Cumbercollective thanks Thee

for Thy gift of TIME

(even though you’re only on the cover of the International issue).

Merciful Batch,

we ask your pardon and forgiveness

for drooling on the cover

of this lovely periodical.


It might actually be an incredible marketing opportunity for the magazine: Time’s Tumblr post of the cover currently has more than 9,000 reblogs, a count that dwarfs its typical hundred or so, three times higher than its second-most-popular cover post in recent months. It even got a nod from Tumblr Radar, because Tumblr knows its demographic.

Time’s also been milking the cover on Twitter:

Something in the way he moves |

— (@TIME) October 17, 2013

While the U.S. Time cover claims that Texas is America’s future, the uproar over Cumberbatch makes us wonder. Texas may be the fastest-growing state, but maybe America’s real future is in the hands of the fans.

Photo via @darth/Twitpic

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*First Published: Oct 17, 2013, 5:00 pm CDT