In these final months of 2017, Hollywood and the rest of the world have witnessed change. What started as one single story blossomed into an ongoing movement. People becoming accused of sexual assault and harassment is growing by the day, and it all dates back to the beginning of the #MeToo campaign. As a result of these past few months, TIME Magazine has officially named their Person of The Year as “The Silence Breakers,” referring to those who have initiated the conversation about sexual assault in Hollywood and on.
Edward Felsenthal, TIME’s editor in chief, said in an interview with “The Today Show” on Wednesday that #MeToo is the “fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by women and some men too.”
In October, news broke in The New York Times and The New Yorker that the big-time Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, was being accused of decades worth of sexual harassment, which sparked the list of women coming forward against multiple different men in Hollywood.
A joint interview between Tarana Burke, the creator of the Me Too movement, and actress Alyssa Milano, who helped promote it recently by reigniting #MeToo by one tweet.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning that it’s not just a moment; it’s a movement,” Ms. Burke said. “I think now the work really begins. The hashtag is a declaration. But now we’re poised to really stand up and do the work.”
Ms. Milano agreed and joined in, saying what she believes should happen next as result of this.
“I want companies to take on a code of conduct; I want companies to hire more women; I want to teach our children better,” she said. “These are all things that we have to set in motion, and as women, we have to support each other and stand together and say that’s it, we’re done, no more.”
Even though this chain reaction of women coming forward started months ago, men are still being accused and getting consequences. For example, as of last week, Matt Lauer, NBC’s resident anchor that has served for the network for decades, has been fired due to multiple women coming forward to speak out against Lauer and his presumable actions.
TIME had a runner-up for 2017 Person of The Year, and it was no other than Donald J. Trump. More than 10 women were accused Trump during his presidential campaign of sexual misconduct from unwanted touching to sexual assault.
Due to not being picked, Trump tweeted about TIME by saying, “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named Man (Person) of the Year, like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photoshoot. So I said it probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” TIME quickly released a statement saying Mr. Trump was incorrect.
The problem without a name is finally getting light again, and this is a positive change within Hollywood. The women and men who have come forward against these lewd acts are all courageous. For TIME to name “The Silence Breakers” as their Person of The Year solidifies the impact these individuals have made this year. However, a national conversation has only just begun, and it is nowhere near over.