In the magazine’s cover story, Dempsey revealed he was “completely shocked” when he was first given the news, “and then I started laughing”. Once the announcement was made on Instagram, fans began to get honest about how they felt about the magazine’s 2023 choice.
Some people were excited for the actor to earn the honour and applauded him for it. “I understand that other people may have deserved it more but c’mon it’s MCDREAMY. How are you guys complaining about this,” one comment read, in a reference to Dempsey’s role as neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd on the hit ABC medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy.
Another commenter agreed that the recognition was a good decision, writing: “I’m shocked that he wasn’t the sexiest man alive sooner. I have seen this man in person. This award is well deserved.”
However, many commenters questioned picking Dempsey, with some commenting on the actor’s “relevance”. “I mean yes he is very attractive but it’s not 2005, why couldn’t yall pick someone more relevant?” one commenter asked.
“I thought this was 2013 when I read the name,” another commenter wrote. “What team chooses these? Or who pays for this title?”
Other commenters were upset with the decision, believing the title should have gone to fellow actor Pedro Pascal. “The only explanation I have for this nonsense is that Pedro turned down the title,” someone wrote in the comments.
“Oh look, another boring white dude!” someone else commented in response Dempsey’s win. “When they could have picked Pedro Pascal who escaped a dictatorship in Chile as a child, worked hard for years in the theatre and finally made it. Pedro is a three-time Emmy nominee this year!! In terms of popularity and being considered sexiest he had all these men beat, especially Patrick who what?”
The announcement was made during Tuesday night’s (7 November) episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! with the talk show host introducing Dempsey, who is also a race car driver, as one of the “founding members of the handsome men’s club, going all the way back to 2010” who has now “risen to the top of sexy mountain”.
When asked how his family reacted to Dempsey being named the most desirable man in 2023, the Maine native replied: “They laughed. Quite hard.”
“They were like: ‘No, seriously. Who is it?’” he continued.
Making a reference to his 2008 movie Made of Honour, he added: “I’ve always been the bridesmaid!
“I’d completely forgotten about it and never even contemplated being in this position. So my ego is good,” he continued, before admitting “it’s nice to have the recognition” and that he hopes to use the platform “for something positive”.
The actor is married to celebrity make-up artist Jillian Dempsey, 57, and the couple share three children – daughter Talula, 21, and twin boys, Darby and Sullivan, 16.
Jillian celebrated her husband’s latest accolade with a sweet tribute on Instagram shortly after the reveal, writing: “You truly are my sexiest man alive”.