Time magazine has named ‘The Silence Breakers’ — the people who triggered a worldwide #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment — as the 2017 ‘Person of the Year’.
It has created a new and much-needed wave of awareness with superb and brave confrontations over sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The #MeToo campaign started as a result of a number of high-profile accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, among others across a number of industries, including UK Parliament.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
The New York Times published an article exposing decades of sexual harassment surrounding Weinstein.
Opening the floodgates, numerous actresses, including A-listers Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, spoke about how Weinstein had sexually harassed them in the explosive story.
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) December 6, 2017
The 10-month long investigative piece included interviews with three women who accused the infamous executive of rape.
Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews also revealed his own story of how a Hollywood executive ‘groped my privates’.
After actress Alyssa Milano made the hashtag #MeToo popular, thousands upon thousands of men and women began sharing their stories of harassment and abuse.
NPR quoted associate professor Lisa Huebner saying:
It helps a lot of people individually, I think, and it also will help us to mark publicly that this is a widespread occurrence, and it’s not okay.
Last year’s winner, US President Donald Trump was the runner-up.
The final decision comes weeks after Trump — who was named Person of the Year in 2016 — said that he ‘took a pass’ on being named again in 2017.
Trump, who called it ‘a tremendous honour’ to win last year, said the magazine had been in touch to say he would ‘probably’ win.
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. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Anyway, enough about Trump.
‘The Silence Breakers’ were selected from a shortlist of ten of the most ‘influential figures’ including North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, former FBI director Robert Mueller, and San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the kneeling protests at American Football matches.
I cried tears of anger last year when Donald Trump said Time Person of the Year should go back to Man of the Year.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 6, 2017
Another group to be nominated were ‘The Dreamers’. They are a group of almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as young children.
The group are currently at risk of deportation as the Trump administration rescinds the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Film director Patty Jenkins, whose blockbuster film Wonder Woman made history when it raked in the biggest domestic opening ever for a female director,was also on the shortlist.
— 🦅G Lynda CHILL 🌊 (@2017Gamora) December 6, 2017
As the news broke, people took to social media to express their happiness over the choice of winner this year.
Laura Moser wrote: ‘PERSON OF THE YEAR: What a fantastic honour for every woman who’s taken a stand, and every woman who still can’t.’
Peter Daou added: TheSilenceBreakers and #MeToo are not the end, but the very beginning of an accounting for the pervasive and ONGOING abuse of women and girls at the hands of males across the planet.
And Shannon Watts wrote:
I cried tears of anger last year when Donald Trump said Time Person of the Year should go back to Man of the Year. Today I’m crying tears of joy. Women are writing themselves back into the narrative through #MeToo and #HerToo.
It’s amazing to see brave men and women being recognised for speaking out and hopefully changing society for the better. A deserving win for each and every one.