New YorK, USA: The silence breakers, those who opened up about saxual harassment – a large part of which is the MeToo movement – have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Its story features women and men who have spoken out, including activist Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo hashtag 10 years ago, to raise awareness about saxual violence.
Time’s announcement was made Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was fired last week amid harassment allegations. “Today” host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged Wednesday that this year’s winner hits “close to home” and mentioned Lauer by name.
Dozens of men and women have shared their stories since October about saxual misconduct by numerous high-profile men in entertainment, media, business and sports. The revelations also helped prompt millions worldwide to tweet about their experiences with saxual harassment and assault.
The movement began spontaneously in October – in the wake of high-profile accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: “If you’ve been saxually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours.
While the most high-profile #MeToo stories have come from women and men who work in the movies and media, the Time article also features women who work hourly jobs, some of whom want to remain anonymous. The magazine’s cover portrait includes strawberry picker Isabel Pascual, lobbyist Adama Iwu and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler along with Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift.
The two runners-up were Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump, himself accused of saxual misconduct by numerous women. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The shortlist of candidates for the distinction included: The silence breakers, The Dreamers, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Protest leader Colin Kaepernick, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and President Trump.
The silence breakers won, while the two runners-up were Chinese President Xi Jinping and USA President Donald Trump who has also been accused of saxual misconduct by numerous women.