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TIME'S Person of the Year 2017

From a shortlist that included last year’s winner Donald Trump, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, TIME Magazine has chosen the #MeToo movement, and the Silence Breakers that were part of it, as its 2017 Person of the Year.

In October this year, the New York Times released a powerful and damming account of the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, that has been taking place for decades. The piece included testimonies from Hollywood actresses who were brave enough to speak up about the assault and/or harassment they suffered at the hands of Weinstein. Their bravery kick started a movement that has reached into every industry, every class and into every corner of the world.

Those actresses are Silence Breakers who lent their voices in solidarity with people around the world who were suffering a similar fate, but who felt silenced. #MeToo allowed every single person who had been affected to share their story and to feel like they were being listened to.

It was a movement fuelled by a steady anger and exasperation, that exploded in earnest at the Women’s March earlier this year, a worldwide protest that advocated for the rights of women and other minorities. The March provided a platform from which a shared anger could manifest. There has been many a headline that has asked why the silence wasn’t broken sooner? Why did no one speak up before?

The women on TIME’s cover did speak up. They differ in every possible way but are unified by shared experience and by the level of their personal courage. For, as the social activist Tarana Burke, who created the hashtag almost a decade ago, said, “Me too can be a conversation starter or it can be the whole conversation.”

Visit TIME's website to find out more.

About the author

Izzy Ashton, Assistant Editor of BITE, Creativebrief

Izzy is a writer/researcher for BITE, Creativebrief’s daily insight into global marketing trends and the cultural movements driving them. She keeps abreast of the latest communication, technology and consumer news, and is responsible for conducting interviews with key agency strategists and creatives to gain insight into the most innovative global campaigns.

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