Time magazine announced on Wednesday its selection of a diverse group of "Silence Breakers" - women and men whose recent public allegations of sexual misconduct across multiple industries have sparked a culture-wide re-evaluation of norms - as its 2017 Person of the Year.
The Person of the Year announcement came on a United States television show that has itself been rocked by controversy NBC's Today show, which fired Matt Lauer over sexual assault and harassment claims just one week earlier. "'Me Too' started, not as a hashtag, but as a campaign from an organization that I founded: Just Be Inc.", Burke told CBS News in October. Milano, who appeared on Today with Burke, said: "As women, we have to support each other and stand together and say, 'That's it".
Naturally, people weren't happy that TIME chose an alleged sexual abuser as a runner-up to an entire movement that seeks to end misogyny, rape culture, and the impunity enjoyed by powerful men with regards to sexual assault.
The image is now a symbol of all the women and men out in the world who are unable to speak up about their experiences with sexual assault because it may negatively impact their lives. "I deeply admire what many of them have done and I admire Time for honoring them", said Professor Joan Williams, founding director of Worklife Law at UC Hastings.
After the Times' exposé, dozens of women came forward sharing similar stories, and often worse, about Weinstein's behavior. "It turns out that women were really angry and I think now is a good time to be angry", said Iwu.More news: Google to hire thousands of YouTube moderators as criticism over content mounts
Trump, Person of the Year in 2016, tweeted recently that the magazine had told him he "probably" would be named again if he agreed to an interview and photo shoot.
The #MeToo hashtag, which went viral across social media, was actually conceptualised ten years ago by activist Tarana Burke on Twitter, but it took off after the Weinstein sexual assault reports when Alyssa Milano tweeted: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write "me too" as a reply to this tweet".
The shortlist also included National Football League player Colin Kaepernick, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.
That's why Time dubbed The Silence Breakers, some of the first ones who came forward, Person of the Year.