They’re the women who launched a movement against sexual harassment.
Huffington Post December 6, 2017
By Willa Frej
Time’s 2017 Person of the Year is The Silence Breakers, what the magazine refers to as “the individuals who set off a national reckoning over the prevalence of sexual harassment.”
The cover image accompanying the story features actress Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, who have all spoken out against various forms of sexual misconduct. It also highlights the plight of sexual harassment among people who don’t have as large of an audience by featuring Isabel Pascual, a woman from Mexico who works picking strawberries, and Adama Iwu, a corporate lobbyist in Sacramento.
“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,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said in a statement.
The movement gained momentum after The New York Times published a damning exposé featuring several women who publicly accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. What followed has been a tidal wave of both women and men feeling empowered to publicly air their own accusations against powerful men in a variety of industries, many using the #MeToo campaign. It’s led to the downfall of top executives, journalists, actors, producers and politicians.
Time’s list of “Silence Breakers” includes big names like Rose McGowan and Terry Crews alongside names the public has likely never heard.
“I started talking about Harvey [Weinstein] the minute that it happened,” Judd said in an interview with TIME. “Literally, I exited that hotel room at the Peninsula Hotel in 1997 and came straight downstairs to the lobby, where my dad was waiting for me, because he happened to be in Los Angeles from Kentucky, visiting me on the set. And he could tell by my face — to use his words — that something devastating had happened to me. I told him. I told everyone.”
Tarana Burke, the woman credited with creating the #MeToo campaign, shared her thanks on Wednesday in a tweet.
The magazine’s shortlist, announced Monday, included 2016 winner President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the Dreamers and former San Francisco 49ers football player Colin Kaepernick.
Trump claimed last month that the magazine told him he was the likely winner for the second consecutive year, which Time later disputed.
“The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year,” a Time spokeswoman told CNN in a statement. “Time does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”
Trump has been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen women.