NEW YORK — The silence breakers have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
Dozens of men and women have shared their stories since October about sexual misconduct by numerous high-profile men in entertainment, media, business and sports. The revelations also helped prompt millions worldwide to tweet about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault.
The movement began spontaneously in October after actress-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. The #MeToo movement was founded by activist Tarana Burke on Twitter a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.
Time’s announcement was made Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was fired last week amid harassment allegations. “Today” host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged Wednesday that this year’s winner hits “close to home” and mentioned Lauer by name.
The two runners-up were Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump, himself accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. He has denied any wrongdoing.
This story has been corrected to show that Time magazine’s Person of the Year is the silence breakers. The #MeToo movement is a part of that group of people.