Politics & Culture

Time's Person of the Year Goes to the #MeToo Movement

Taylor Swift, Alyssa Milano, Terry Crews, Rose McGowan, and more are "The Silence Breakers" who used their platform to call out abuses of power.
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For 2017, Time's annual Person of the Year cover is actually people of the year: "The Silence Breakers," as the cover line reads. The extensive portfolio of features activists, artists, and actors—men and women, some anonymous—who have used their platform, any platform, to call out the abuses of power within their industry and beyond. 

The impetus of the speaking-out movement, according to Time, comes with actress Ashley Judd's testimony to the New York Times about being sexually assaulted by film producer Harvey Weinstein. What followed was a snowball, no avalanche, of other women coming forward to similarly accuse him. The unity of voices spawned a #MeToo social media moment, which brought to light rampant sexual abuse across Hollywood, Washington, Wall Street, and religious institutions—practically anywhere authority is wielded over another. 

Time's cover story features dozens of people with unfortunately similar stories. What quickly becomes clear is that abuse can happen to anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, occupation, income, or celebrity. Taylor Swift, arguably one of the most famous people in the world, just settled an assault case in August of this year; she countersued former radio DJ David Mueller, who sued Swift for defamation after she accused him of groping her during a backstage photo op. Swift one her case, and was awarded $1, a symbolic amount of Swift's deciding. She says she has yet to receive that dollar.

Though Person of the Year sounds like a glittering accolade, it isn't intended to be. Instead, it's meant to mark the person (or in this year's case, people) who contributed the most to public discourse or cultural change. Last year, it went to Donald Trump, whose November win against Hillary Clinton marked a new era of politics. The former reality host took to Twitter to announce that Time approached him about being a repeat Person of the Year, to which he declined. The magazine denied such claims, though did award him the runner-up position. Despite the many sexual assault allegations made against Trump, especially considering the magazine's #MeToo cover story, Time makes no mention of the president's own accused abuses. 

Read the full cover story here. 

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