TIME magazine has honored the people who ignited a nationwide movement to expose and punish sexual harassment by naming the #MeToo Movement—which the magazine has dubbed “The Silence Breakers”—as TIME‘s 2017 Person of the Year.
The Silence Breakers were chosen from a shortlist of potential 2017 picks that included Kim Jong-un, Colin Kaepernick, and Robert Mueller. President Donald Trump—a man whose own history of sexual harassment allegations has yet to catch up with him—was the 2017 Person of the Year runner-up, after gracing the cover in 2016.
TIME editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal made the announcement on the TODAY show Wednesday morning, just a week after the show fired host Matt Lauer for a string of sexual misconduct allegations.
“This is the fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women, and some men, who came forward to tell their own stories of sexual harassment and assault,” Felsenthal said.
“These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone,” TIME wrote on its website, “their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought.”
This isn’t the first time TIME has chosen a group as its Person of the Year, either. The title has been awarded to GIs during the Korean War, kids 25 and under in 1966, and “You,” back in 2006, along with other groups who helped sway popular culture and the world in unison.
“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover,” Felsenthal said in a statement, “along with those of hundreds of others, and of many men as well, have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s.”
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