Time magazine is making waves with its unexpected pick for Person of the Year.
For 2017, Time didn’t choose a single individual, but an entire movement: “The Silence Breakers.”
Time magazine’s Person of the Year: “The Silence Breakers” pic.twitter.com/dbGyQpJ19C
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 6, 2017
Time’s selection encompasses all the women and men who have spoken out about their experiences with sexual abuse and harassment, including the viral #MeToo campaign on social media.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, announced the pick Wednesday morning on NBC’s “Today.”
TIME has named the “The Silence Breakers”, the individuals who set off a national reckoning over the prevalence of sexual harassment, as its 2017 Person of the Year. pic.twitter.com/265EQbhSPb
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 6, 2017
Time described the Silence Breakers as a phenomenon that began with female stars and powerful men in the media, but that now extends to women in any situation anywhere in the world.
“When movie stars don’t know where to go, what hope is there for the rest of us? What hope is there for the janitor who’s being harassed by a co-worker but remains silent out of fear she’ll lose the job she needs to support her children? For the administrative assistant who repeatedly fends off a superior who won’t take no for an answer? For the hotel housekeeper who never knows, as she goes about replacing towels and cleaning toilets, if a guest is going to corner her in a room she can’t escape?”
The article continued:
“This reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries. Women have had it with bosses and co-workers who not only cross boundaries but don’t even seem to know that boundaries exist. They’ve had it with the fear of retaliation, of being blackballed, of being fired from a job they can’t afford to lose.
“They’ve had it with the code of going along to get along. They’ve had it with men who use their power to take what they want from women. 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.”
A video on the Time website showed photos of the various men and women who have opened up about their stories.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
Time interviewed a number of women for its piece. Among them were actresses Ashley Judd–who claimed to be the victim of an attempted assault by movie producer Harvey Weinstein–and Alyssa Milano, who ignited the #MeToo hashtag with an October 15 tweet.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Time also spoke with a young hospital worker from Texas who chose to remain anonymous to avoid threats to her employment. She is seen in the right corner of the picture that appears on the cover, her face cut out of the frame.
President Trump was the first runner-up for Person of the Year, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in third place and Special Counsel Robert Mueller in fourth.
After Harvey Weinstein’s accusers came forward, a number of prominent men in entertainment, politics, and business have lost their jobs as a result of sexual misconduct allegations, including CBS’s Charlie Rose, NBC’s Matt Lauer, and actor Kevin Spacey.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced his retirement on Tuesday in the face of sexual harassment claims. Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct going back to 1979. Senator Al Franken recently faced his seventh accuser of sexual misconduct.
Interestingly, the wave of accusations against politicians has disproportionately hit prominent liberals and Democrats.