TIME’s 100 makes a few mistakes

Max Miranda, A& Editor

On April 10, 2014, TIME posted its 12th annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  All picks are divided into five different groups, with a great deal of surprises coming in each category.

However, this year there are several surprises in the artist category.  Several artists were included that have yet to even become significantly famous, or even draw a mass following.  For example, the author Barbara Brown Taylor is included on the list despite the fact that you’d be hard pressed to find a person in town who knows who she is.

Other questionable picks included people like Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Diane Paulus, and House of Cards actress, Robin Wright.While this year’s list was scattered with those who may hold little influence, there are plenty of acclaimed artists who have never received the honor.

Actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, author, and poet James Franco has had a significant influence on the film industry.  Franco has an estimated net worth of around $20 million and has been a major celebrity since his breakthrough in 1999’s Freaks and Geeks. Known as the Renaissance Man of Hollywood, there is very little doubt that either his influence or his talent are limited.

Year after year, it seems that TIME has continuously managed to exclude one of the most influential writers of the last 40 years: Stephen E. King.  The horror author has sold over 350 million copies of his 55 critically acclaimed novels.  There have been countless television and movie adaptations of his works.  It seems that almost everybody has seen or read something that came from the mind of Stephen King.

In recent years, it seems that TIME has tried hard to focus on fresher faces, rather than repeating entries each year, excluding people such as Jay-Z and Oprah Winfrey from this year’s list.  This makes the absence of recently famous stars  Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) and Ryan Lewis.  The dynamic duo has become a commodity in the music industry after their debut album won the Grammy for Best Rap Album, which included two Billboard number one hits.  This marked the first time since 1994 that a song reached number one on Billboard without the support of a major record label.  In an incredibly short amount of time, the pairing has made incredibly large waves.

These days, it seems to be increasingly common for actors to shift from roles on TV screens to singing on top of the charts, and this is just the case for the very uncommon actress and singer, Ariana Grande-Butera.  Beginning her stardom playing the role of Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon television show, Victorious, Ariana Grande has since gotten her own show on Nickelodeon titled Sam & Cat, playing the same character.  Since then, Cat has earned two top ten hits with her songs, “The Way” and “Problem” and drawn a large fan base for both her areas of talent.

Television personality Jon Stewart has been said to have completely revolutionized the way that the masses attain news over the course of his 14 reigning years at the helm of The Daily Show.  Stewart has been a producer of the show which has won the Emmy for  Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series for 13 years straight.  The funny-man has even fostered the career of famous comedian Stephen Colbert, who has himself made an appearance on the  TIME 100 list in 2012.  Stewart’s influence lies in the fact that he is a go-to source for news for hundreds of thousands despite still being considered an entertainer.

Perhaps TIME needs to reconsider their process for selecting their most influential artists.