The 2017 Time Person of the Year is “the silence breakers,” or the many “individuals who set off a national reckoning over the prevalence of sexual harassment” announced the magazine’s editor-in-chief on NBC’s Today on Wednesday morning.
The cover image included women who had spearheaded the conversation around sexual misconduct and assault in the workplace— including Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, and formed Uber engineer Susan Fowler, as well as the back of a woman’s head, meant to symbolize those who have no public audience but still experienced sexual assault.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
Also featured are non-famous women of varying races and social class; Isabel Pascual, a Mexican strawberry-picker 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 #MeToo movement first gained momentum when the New York Times published an exposé in which several woman accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. What ensued was a veritable breakdown of the protective podium powerful men had used for decades to sexually assault, harass, and coerce their (mostly female) coworkers and subordinates. It snowballed into hundreds and thousands of women and men stepping forward to name their own abusers and became known as the #MeToo campaign. This reckoning has demolished the careers of many, including top executives, actors, producers, journalists, and politicians.
The originator of the #MeToo hashtag, Tarana Burke, who, appeared on NBC’s Today to call the current reckoning a “movement,” and not merely a “moment.” She shared her appreciation for all those who had spoken out in a tweet:
Thank you EVERYONE!! Especially all of you who rang the alarm when you thought I wasn’t being acknowledged. I couldn’t say anything!! I’m sorry. But I felt every bit of the love. Now the work REALLY begins. 💕#metoo
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) December 6, 2017
The magazine’s shortlist, announced last Monday, included 2016 winner President Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the Dreamers and former San Francisco 49ers football player Colin Kaepernick.
In a tweet last month, Donald Trump claimed Time let him know he was the likely winner for the second consecutive year.
Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
The magazine quickly disputed this assertion, stating to CNN that “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year,” and that “Time does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”
The president— who clearly does not care even a little bit, even at all about being on the cover of Time, as demonstrated by the fact that at least five of his golf clubs feature a fake Time magazine cover with himself on the cover along with the words “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!”—has been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen women.