The announcement was made on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday morning (6 December), after the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, revealed the selection.
The decision was based on the magazine’s reckoning of who or what had most influenced the news in the past year – for better or for worse.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
Felsenthal unveiled the publication’s cover which features a composite group photo including Hollywood stars Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, and a woman’s face that cannot be seen.
In a statement from the magazine, Felsenthal announced: ‘The galvanising 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.’
‘The Silence Breakers’ emerged in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The news prompted hundreds of women and men to speak out about their own experiences of abuse in various industries including politics, sport and journalism.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 6, 2017
In the weeks that followed the scandal, social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram became flooded with men and women using the #MeToo hashtag to share their stories, and condemn the abuse and how rife it really is.
The winning #MeToo movement was created in the aftermath Donald Trump’s presidential campaign following a 2005 audio recording of his boasting about how he could grab women ‘by the pussy’, which surfaced during the 2016 US election.
TIME’s journalist Charlotte Atler went on to reveal more details about the Person of the Year award, commenting on Twitter: ‘This was conceived, reported and written by women. It was fact-checked by women.
‘The video was shot and edited by women. The layout and photo spread were designed by women. It’s one of the reasons I’m proud to work at TIME.’
Trump – who was named the publication’s Person of the Year in 2016 – was second on the list, and third was Xi Jinping, the leader of China.
Unfortunately, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was the only woman – apart from those that make up the ‘The Silence Breakers’ – to feature on the list.