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 Edward Felsenthal in a statement on Today. The cover image featured five women who helped spearhead the conversation around sexual misconduct and assault in the workplace—Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, formed Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu and strawberry picker Isabel Pascal. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see an anonymous elbow in the bottom righthand corner.
This anonymous elbow is intentional. Felsenthal noted the faceless women, explaining that she is symbolic of all those people who aren’t able to come forward or who never had an opportunity to, and those who want to but never will for fear of repercussions. “This is the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women – and some men, too – who came forward to tell their own stories,” Felsenthal told NBC News, calling the individuals “the silence breakers.”
“These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone,” TIME wrote. “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.”
Twitter users were quick to spot and discuss the elbow and its significance:
Imagine being THIS close to being on the cover of Time pic.twitter.com/NaP8wgXm2H
— Abyana Davila (@AbyanaDavila) December 7, 2017
Gonna pour one out for the person that got cropped out of the TIME cover tho pic.twitter.com/ytmLV2dy0U
— Gary He (@garyhe) December 6, 2017
Whose elbow is that, seems a bit unfair pic.twitter.com/ra5agzeyz7
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) December 6, 2017
Totally, it’s clever in that way. I just thought the OP was being funny like “pour one out for the person almost made the cover but didn’t” ??
I’m more upset Swift made the cover than anything.
— Ally B. (@AllyBFraz) December 6, 2017