“The Silence Breakers” — those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment have been collectively named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
Numerous women have spoken out since October about sexual misconduct by dozens of high-profile men in entertainment, media, business and sports. Time praised those who have given “voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable.”
The magazine’s cover features Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift and others who said they have been harassed. Women who spoke out, initially against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and then others, helped to spawn the #MeToo movement, with millions of people telling stories of sexual misconduct on social media.
The tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts began after actor-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours.
#MeToo was actually founded by activist Tarana Burke a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence. Ms. Milano has said she wasn’t aware of Ms. Burke’s contributions when she made her initial tweet and has since publicly credited her.
The two runners-up for Time person of the year were Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump.