Time has named ‘The Silence Breakers’ – the women behind the #MeToo movement – as their Person of the Year for 2017.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning on the Today show by the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal.
‘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 stories of sexual harassment and assault,’ Felsenthal said.
Last year’s winner President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping were runner up and third place, respectively.
The cover includes the likes of Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift, who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in a New York Times story that sparked dozens of more women to complain about the producer – eventually causing him to be fired by his own company.
Taylor Swift was also on the cover for taking a radio DJ to court for groping her – and winning the case.
Other women on the cover were less known, but just as essential to the movement.
One woman’s face is partially obscured, a symbol of the women who chose to remain anonymous and the more that will come forward.
Felsenthal said that the woman who’s face is hidden behind the fame is a hospital worker who spoke to the magazine ‘but doesn’t feel like she can come forward without threatening her livelihood.
The cover was perhaps an awkward one for Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb to announce. It came exactly a week after the two were forced to announce the firing of their co-host Matt Lauer for similar allegations.
Their NBC co-worker Megyn Kelly, who hosts the third hour of the Today show, was part of a video to promote the cover, since she played her own role in bringing down Roger Ailes, CEO of her former network Fox.
‘It has touched every industry. It obviously has hit very close to home here with the firing of Matt Lauer,’ Guthrie said.
The #MeToo movement was also up against Colin Kaepernick, Robert Mueller, Jeff Bezos, the Dreamers,Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and Kim Jong Un of North Korea for the 2017 cover.
The new issue of Time with the ‘Silence Breakers’ on the cover will hit newsstands on Friday.
That list was compiled by the editors of Time based on who they believe has influenced the world around them ‘for good or ill’ the most over the past 12 months.
The list was unveiled in no particular on Monday, kicking off with Bezos, who has vastly expanded the reach of his company Amazon over the past year on his way to becoming the richest man in the world, and the first to have a net worth of over $100 million.
President Trump was next, a little over an hour after he managed to make headlines once again by officially endorsing Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore despite accusations that he sexually molested a girl when she was 14 and assaulted another female was she was 16 in a restaurant parking lot.
Kim Jung Un of North Korea earned a spot on the list thanks in large part to the ongoing threat of nuclear war between his country and the rest of the world.
Kaepernick got his spot as a result of starting his own movement, with his refusal to stand for the national anthem while protesting police brutality back in August 2016 leading to hundreds of other athletes in the the NFL and other sports around the world doing the same.
President Xi Jinping, one of the few world leaders who President Trump has made a point of working closely with over the past year, made the list during the same year he was elected to his second five year term as leader of China.
Next up were the Dreamers, whose plight has been the subject of much political discourse after President Trump and his administration revoked an Obama-era program intended to give the children who were born to illegal immigrants a path to citizenship in the United States.
A third Asian leader and the sole finalist from the Middle East was also among the 10, with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia finding himself in the running after he launched a far-reaching crackdown on government corruption and spending that targeted many members of his own family. Many have called it move designed to solidify the future king’s power.
Robert Mueller made the list for his investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and it’s connections to the Trump campaign that could topple the president.
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins nabbed the final spot for her work on the box office-dominating and boundary-breaking superhero film.
Time revealed the results of their reader’s poll on Monday as well, which was won by Crown Prince bin Salman in overwhelming fashion, as he commanded 24 per cent of the vote versus the six per cent that runner-up the #MeToo movement received in the poll.