The social movement aimed at raising awareness about sexual harassment and assault, the #MeToo social media hashtag, has been named by Time magazine as the most influential “person” in 2017.
Making the announcement Wednesday, the publication described the campaign as the ‘fastest moving social change’ in recent times, saluting the courage of those who dared to come forward with their stories.
“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 own stories,” Time Editor-in-Chief, Edward Felsenthal told NBC News, referring to them as “the silence breakers.”
Pictured on the cover of the Time 2017 Person of the Year issue are campaigners, Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift, and Isabel Pascual (a pseudonym).
The victory for #MeToo comes amid a wave of public allegations of sexual misconduct that have targeted some of the most prominent men in U.S. politics, media and entertainment, leading to multiple firings and investigations that have already altered relations between both sexes.
As more people made their accusations public, other individuals also shared their own stories of assault and harassment, often with posts on social media platforms using the hashtag #MeToo.
“I could never had envisioned something that would change the world. I was trying to change my community,” Tarana Burke, who created the hashtag, told NBC. “This is just the start. It’s not just a moment, it’s a movement. Now the work really begins.”
U.S. President Donald Trump, tho won the Time’s Person of the Year Award in 2016 after his stunning election victory, was the first runner-up this year, followed by Chinese President, Xi Jinping.
Other finalists included U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the election that Trump won; North Korean President Kim Jong Un; “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins; and football player-turned-activist, Colin Kaepernick.
Time’s yearly award recognizes the person, group, thing or idea that it has determined had the greatest influence on events for the year.
Past winners include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis.