Time magazine has named “The Silence Breakers,” representing people who came forward to report sexual misconduct, as its Person of the Year.
It’s a recognition of the cultural reckoning this year and the #MeToo movement, which represents the people, mostly women, who have fueled a worldwide discussion about sexual harassment and assault.
“This reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries,” Time’s story said.
“These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, 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.”
President Trump was the runner-up for Person of the Year. Chinese President Xi Jinping came in third.
Time’s editor-in-chief announced the pick Wednesday morning on NBC’s “Today.”
The #MeToo hashtag was created more than a decade ago by the activist Tarana Burke. But it took off last month when a slew of high-profile men were publicly accused of sexual misconduct, beginning with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
After The New York Times and The New Yorker published accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Weinstein, many more women and some men came forward with allegations against others — including actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K. and former NBC anchor Matt Lauer.
Last year Time awarded Person of the Year to President Trump, who had just won the election. Time called him the “President of the Divided States of America.”
Trump was once again a finalist this year. He tweeted last month that he was “probably” going to be given the title, adding that he “took a pass” because he would have had to agree to an interview and a photo shoot. Time called that account false.