Gone are the days when TIME would name a single person as its Man of the Year.
Gone are the days when TIME would use the word “Man” to describe the single person who changed the world most during the year.
TIME went full PC with its title cover swapping “Man” for “Person”, and played the identity politics game full tilt with its naming of organizations, groups and movements to signify its Person of the Year. People are now named collectively as a “Person” of the Year.
2017 is one such year, where TIME has named a group of sexual assault victims (“alleged” sexual assault victims, because a majority of cases have not been fully tied in a court of law), named “The Silence Breakers”, as it’s 2017 Person of the Year.
The list of “Silence Breakers” is an elastic list, growing by the day…the common bond is accusing someone of sexual assault.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal revealed the selection Wednesday on TODAY along with the cover, a composite group photo that includes actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and a woman whose face cannot be seen.
“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 in a statement.
The Silence Breakers emerged amid burgeoning allegations of sexual misconduct and assault by film executive Harvey Weinstein. As his list of accusers swelled, so did the number of people who spoke up to expose dozens of other famous individuals in Hollywood, politics, journalism and other industries as sexual predators.
Actor Kevin Spacey, journalist Charlie Rose, comedian Louis CK and U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota were among the high-profile names snared in an ever-growing web of alleged sexual harassers. Last week, former TODAY anchor Matt Lauer was also accused of sexual misconduct.
The women, and men, who broke their silence to share their stories of victimization gave traction to the #MeToo campaign, which took off on social media and fueled a worldwide discussion on just how endemic sexual harassment has been.
Felsenthal noted the hashtag, which he called “a powerful accelerant,” has been used millions of times in at least 85 countries.
Since 1927, TIME has bestowed its Person of the Year title upon an individual or group of people who the magazine’s editors believe have most influenced news and events of the past year, “for good or ill.”
“The idea that influential, inspirational individuals shape the world could not be more apt this year,” Felsenthal said. “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.”