Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers

World Today

Time Magazine's Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers

Every year, Time magazine selects its Person of the Year. It recognizes an individual, group or concept that had the most influence on the world in the past year. And for 2017, the ‘Silence Breakers’ have been chosen. They are the hundreds of women and men who spoke out against sexual assault and harassment at the workplace.

CGTN’s Liling Tan reports.

Breaking years of silence, these men and women have revealed their stories of sexual harassment and assault by powerful men across multiple industries. They’ve fueled a movement that’s shaking up the system, and hitting alleged abusers where it hurts the most: their jobs and their reputation.

“It’s ‘The Silence Breakers,’ women and some men all around the world, thousands, millions perhaps, who stepped out this year to say that they’ve had enough with sexual harassment at work, at home, and sexual assault,” Susanna Schrobsdorff, executive editor at Time Magazine said.

“And we’re doing this because they’ve changed cultural norms. This is a shift that is unprecedented in its speed. Not since the 60s have we seen cultural norms change this quickly.”

On the cover, actress Ashley Judd who spoke up against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein; singer Taylor Swift who took a radio DJ to court for groping her and engineer Susan Fowler whose outing of a sexist office culture would shake up Uber and bring down its CEO.

But the cover also includes lesser known figures like California lobbyist Adama Iwu; Mexican strawberry picker Isabel Pascuel; and a woman whose face is out of frame, belonging to an anonymous young hospital worker from Texas, who Time magazine says, is a sexual harassment victim afraid of revealing her identity.

Harvey Weinstein was fired from his own production company, and actor Kevin Spacey was sacked from the hit TV show ‘House of Cards.’ And in the news business, there was Bill O’Reilly of Fox, Charlie Rose of PBS, and Matt Lauer of NBC.

And the #MeToo social media campaign that began in mid-October went viral, fueling an international show of solidarity never seen before.

Officials in the UK government have fallen. France has a version called BalanceTonPorc which means “Out Your Pig,” and other variations on the theme are being used across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia.