Summary: Time has awarded the title of 2017 Person of the Year to the “Silence Breakers” who came forward to fight sexual harassment.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he was being considered as Time’s Person of the Year, but the magazine apparently had other plans. On Wednesday, the publication announced its winner, a collection of people who spoke out against sexual harassment. Trump, who has been accused of harassment by nearly 20 women, was listed as number two on the list.
Time’s cover featured six women who fought sexual harassment: actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu, agriculture worker Isabel Pascual, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, and an anonymous woman. The publication called these women and others like them Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement.
Ashley Judd was the first person to go on the record to say that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed her during her career. She was interviewed by the New York Times, who exposed Weinstein in early October. Once the Weinstein story broke, dozens of women came forward to accuse the Hollywood mogul of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape; and a class-action lawsuit is pending against him and his company for racketeering.
Taylor Swift was listed as a Silence Breaker because she sued Colorado DJ, David Mueller for allegedly grabbing her butt during a photo op. A jury awarded her a victory, and she won a symbolic $1, which the disgraced DJ has yet to pay.
Adama Iwu shook up Sacramento, California when she started an anti-sexual harassment campaign in October. She said that she was groped at an event in front of her colleagues and that no one did anything. The horrific experience inspired her to rally her female colleagues to expose sexual harassment in government.
Isabel Pascual, a strawberry picker from Mexico, said that she was sexually harassed at work and that her abuser stalked her and threatened her family. In November, she and 700,000 agriculture workers joined a celebrity march in California to fight sexual harassment, proving that the problem affects women of all ages, races, and classes.
Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post about her former employer, and she outlined the sexual harassment and abusive environment that plagued the multi-billion dollar ride share company. Her post prompted Uber to hire former US Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an investigation, and it was her post that has been credited for initiating change and getting then-CEO Travis Kalanick ousted.
These women along with others such as actress Alyssa Milano, actor Terry Crews, and journalist Megyn Kelly were also featured as a Silence Breaker.
Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said that our country is experiencing a cultural shift in how to treat others in the workplace, and those who spoke out about harassment are leading the movement.
“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover along with those of hundreds of others, and of many men as well, have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s,” Felsenthal said. “The roots of Time’s annual franchise — singling out the person or persons who most influenced the events of the year — lie in the so-called great man theory of history, a phrasing that sounds particularly anachronistic at this moment. But the idea that influential, inspirational individuals shape the world could not be more apt this year. For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year.”
- Terry Crews Sues WME Agent Adam Venit for Sexual Harassment
- Lawsuit Claims Harvey Weinstein Is a Sex Trafficker