Time person of the year is ‘Silence Breakers’ who opened up about sexual assault
Time magazine has announced its person of the year this year is a group of people who have stepped forward and spoken up about sexual assault.
The ‘Silence Breakers’ are honoured as ‘the voices that launched a movement’ Time announced on Twitter.
The group includes Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Alyssa Milano, Tarana Burke, Taylor Swift and Selma Blair among other men and women who were catalysts for movements that encouraged victims to share their stories, including the viral #MeToo movement.
In an announcement on US breakfast television, the group was declared as the most influential person of 2017, based on the magazine editors’ reckoning of who or what had most influenced the news in the past year, good or bad.
In October, Ashley Judd went on the record in the New York Times to say Harvey Weinstein had attempted to coerce her into bed during a meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel in 1997 – an allegation he denies.
Her story led to a host of other prominent accusers coming forward, including women from all walks of life beginning to speak out about inappropriate, abusive and in some cases illegal behaviour they have faced.
Making the announcement, Time said: ‘When a movie star says #MeToo, it becomes easier to believe the cook who’s been quietly enduring for years.
‘The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe.
‘They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City’s regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament.
‘They’re part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.’
‘This is the fastest moving social change we have seen in decades,’ Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said.
‘It began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women – and some men, too – who came forward to tell their own stories.’
US President Donald Trump – given with the accolade last year – American football player Colin Kaepernick and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were all on the shortlist.
Trump previously tweeted that Time had personally called him and said he would ‘probably’ be ‘Person of the Year’ but he said he turned them down.
The statement was quickly rebuffed by a Time spokesperson who said: ‘The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year.
‘Time does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.’