As his list of accusers has grown, 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. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota have all been amongst high-profile names snared in an ever-growing web of alleged sexual harassers.
The women, and men, who broke their silence to share their stories of victimization gave a lot of coverage 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 around the world.
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”.
It’s for this reason that the magazine often say that being named person of the year is not an endorsement. You can tell that from the past winners on the list, who have included Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
“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.”
It seems like The Silence Breakers will be a popular choice for the award, with many online polls suggesting that women at the head of the #MeToo campaign deserved to be person of the year.
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