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'Silence breakers' named as Time's Person of the Year

The award is dedicated to people who went public with allegations of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and beyond.

person-of-year-2017-time-magazine-cover1 Source: Time

‘SILENCE BREAKERS’ HAVE been named as Time’s 2017 Person of the Year.

The award is “for giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable”, Edward Felsenthal writes in the magazine.

He says the award is dedicated to people who went public with allegations of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, politics, the media and beyond.

“It became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover — Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift and Isabel Pascual — 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.

Social media acted as a powerful accelerant; the hashtag #MeToo has now been used millions of times in at least 85 countries. ‘I woke up and there were 32,000 replies in 24 hours,’ says actor Alyssa Milano, who, after the first (Harvey) Weinstein story broke, helped popularize the phrase coined years before by Tarana Burke.

“‘And I thought, My God, what just happened? I think it’s opening the floodgates.’ To imagine Rosa Parks with a Twitter account is to wonder how much faster civil rights might have progressed,” the article states.

On foot of the Weinstein allegations, a number of actors including Kevin Spacey and Louis CK, and TV presenters Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose have been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment.

In August, Swift has made a “generous” donation to a US charity that supports victims of sexual assault after winning a groping lawsuit against a former radio DJ David Mueller.

Read: Uma Thurman calls out Harvey Weinstein and his ‘wicked conspirators’

Read: ‘You are not alone’: Taylor Swift makes ‘generous’ donation to sexual assault charity

Read: Kevin Spacey accused of 20 incidences of inappropriate behaviour from his time at London’s Old Vic theatre

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Órla Ryan

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