Every year, TIME Magazine reveals its ‘person of the year’ – an individual, a group, an idea or an object that “for better or for worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year”.
This year, the magazine has named “the Silence Breakers” – or the social #metoo movement aimed at raising awareness about sexual harassment and assault – as 2017’s “person of the year”.
On the cover, there is Ashley Judd – who was one of the first to publicly accuse disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in an expose published by The New York Times.
It was the expose that triggered a waterfall of other accusations. Allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against some of the most prominent men in US politics, media and entertainment, leading to multiple firings and investigations.
The bravery of Judd encouraged and empowered other survivors to do the same. She named her accuser, and others understood: they weren’t alone in their pain.
“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, too, who came forward to tell their own stories,” TIME editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told NBC News, referring to them as “the Silence Breakers”.
The woman who created the hashtag also spoke to NBC, saying: “I could never had envisioned something that would change the world. I was trying to change my community. This is just the start. It’s not just a moment, it’s a movement. Now the work really begins.”
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017