TIME magazine unveiled the “Silence Breakers” who started a worldwide movement, influencing millions of women and men to share their experiences with sexual harassment and assault, as its choice for their 2017 Person of the Year. In October, the #MeToo campaign flooded social media timelines after several women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Numerous high-profile men in the film industry, media, business, and sports began to fall as women went public with their histories of harassment and abuse.
The TIME piece by Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman and Haley Sweetland Edwards details the efforts of public figures such as Ashley Judd, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, and others who all played a role in the reckoning that’s effectively forced men including Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, Matt Laurer, Al Franken, Jeffrey Tambor, and many others to face consequences for their behaviour.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
“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.”
The 2017 Person of the Year announcement took place on NBC’s Today Show, where Laurer previously served as a host before he was fired last week amid multiple harassment and misconduct complaints.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who is the subject of a defamation suit from former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, was among the runners up for the award. Zervos was one of nearly 20 women who have accused the President of sexual harassment.