TIME person of the year awarded to #MeToo 'silence breakers'

Published: 07 December 2017

time

US publication Time Magazine has named the #MeToo social movement as the most influential ‘person’ of 2017.

The movement is named after the hashtag #MeToo, which women used on social media to raise awareness of widespread sexual harassment and assault.

Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal dubbed the women driving the movement as the ‘silence breakers’ in an interview with NBC.

“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,” he said.

The accolade comes as many public figures across politics, media and entertainment in the US have been accused of sexual harassment or misconduct, with some resulting in investigations and job terminations.

The #MeToo hashtag creator, Tarana Burke, told NBC she was surprised by the success of the movement.

“I could never had envisioned something that would change the world. I was trying to change my community,” she said.

“This is just the start. It’s not just a moment, it’s a movement. Now the work really begins.”

The two runners-up were 2016 person of the year Donald Trump, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Other contenders included North Korean President Kim Jong Un, ‘Wonder Woman’ director Paddy Jenkins and football player-turned activist Colin Kaepernick.