Time Magazine has named “The Silence Breakers“, the individuals who under the hashtag of #MeToo spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment, as its 2017 Person of the Year.
A composite of the coveted magazine cover features Ashley Judd, one of the first to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, and Taylor Swift, who won a civil case against an ex-DJ who she said had grabbed her bottom, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and a woman whose face cannot be seen.
Actress Rose McGowan and Terry Crews feature in the issue’s accompanying promotional video, alongside other silence breakers.
It was unveiled on TV show TODAY by the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal, with the cover line “The Silence Breakers“.
“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover… 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,” Felsenthal said in a statement. “The idea that influential, inspirational individuals shape the world could not be more apt this year.
“For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year.”
The #MeToo movement gained traction amid allegations of sexual misconduct made against Hollywood producer Weinstein in articles published in the New York Times and magazine The New Yorker.
With a growing list of accusers opening up about Weinstein, under the #MeToo hashtag, more women and men were moved to share their stories on social media, exposing other alleged sexual harassers including House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey, journalist Charlie Rose, comedian Louis C.K. and U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota.
Felsenthal called the movement’s #MeToo hashtag, “a powerful accelerant”.
The Person of the Year title is bestowed upon an individual or group of people who the magazine’s editors believe have most influenced news and events of the past year, “for good or ill”.