Time Magazine Names 2017 Person Of The Year: 'The Silence Breakers'

politics, celebs, terry crews, susan fowler, Sandra Muller, Juana Melara, Lindsay Meyer, Isabel Pascual, Blaise Godbe Lipman, Sandra Pezqueda, Sara Gelser, Selma Blair, Tarana Burke, alyssa milano, rose mcgowan, Dana Lewis, ashley judd, Taylor Swift, Silence Breakers, Person of the Year 2017, Time Magazine
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Time Magazine names 'The Silence Breakers' as Person of the Year for 2017, including Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Rose McGowan, Alyssa Milano, Terry Crews, and more!

Time Magazine Names 2017 Person Of The Year: 'The Silence Breakers'

Time magazine has named "The Silence Breakers" as their 2017 Person of the Year, giving recognition to the women and men who sparked the #MeToo movement, which empowered thousands to accuse powerful men of sexual harassment and assault.

Among the voices that launched the movement were Ashley Judd, who went on record in October to The New York Times about Harvey Weinstein's behavior, Rose McGowan, whose accusations against Weinstein aided in his downfall, Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo movement, and Alyssa Milano, who promoted the #MeToo movement on social media.

The Time magazine cover featured Judd, singer Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu, and Isabel Pascual, an immigrant from Mexico whose name was changed to protect her identity. There is also a sixth woman whose arm is in the photo, but remains anonymous.

Who Are The Silence Breakers?

The magazine's editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, revealed why Time editors named these "silence breakers" as the Person of the Year, an issue that features the person or group of people that most influence the year.

"The galvanizing 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," Felsenthal revealed to Today.

If you're wondering who are the silence breakers, we have you covered. Here's Time's Silence Breakers.

Ashley Judd | Actor

  • One of the first actresses to accuse Harvey Weinstein of three decades of sexual harassment in The New York Times.

Alyssa Milano | Actor

  • Boosted the #MeToo hashtag across social media.

Tarana Burke | Activist

  • The woman who created the #MeToo movement, further building solidarity among survivors of harassment and assault.

Selma Blair | Actor

  • One of the first actresses to accuse independent film director James Toback.

Seven current and former employees of New York City's Plaza Hotel—from left: Veronica Owusu, Gabrielle Eubank, Crystal Washington, Dana Lewis, Paige Rodriguez, Sergeline Bernadeau and Kristina Antonova—filed a suit against the hotel for “normalizing and trivializing sexual assault” among employees there. "I am a single mother. I have an 11-year-old daughter, and she’s depending on me,” says Lewis, who still works at the hotel to make ends meet. “My entire life revolves around her. I wasn’t really left with the option of leaving. I’m not left with the option of giving up. I want to show her that it’s O.K. to stand up for yourself. If you keep fighting, eventually you’ll see the sun on the other side." (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which owns the Plaza, said it takes remedial action against harassment when warranted.) The Plaza Hotel Plaintiffs are among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Veronica Owusu, Gabrielle Eubank, Crystal Washington, Dana Lewis, Paige Rodriguez, Sergeline Bernadeau, and Kristina Antonova | Plaza Hotel Plaintiffs

  • Filed a suit against the Plaza Hotel in New York City for allowing and normalizing sexual assault among the employees there.

Sara Gelser | State Senator

  • Accused fellow legislator, Jeff Kruse, of sexual harassment. As a result, the statehouse stripped him of his committee assignments.

Taylor Swift | Singer

  • After reporting radio DJ David Mueller of gropping her, Mueller sued Swift. She countersued for $1.

Sandra Pezgueda | Former Dishwasher

  • Filed a suit against her supervisor at the Terranea Resort. When she spoke out, he changed her schedule and cut her hours.

After director James Toback denied accusations by dozens of women that he had sexually assaulted them, Selma Blair spoke out about her encounter with him. “I decided to go on the record when I saw his denial. He called the women liars. But their stories were so similar to mine, and they were such credible women. There was no agenda other than they wanted to share this story, be free of this story. And in a magazine interview, he called the people who said this about him ‘c-nts’ and ‘c-cksuckers.’ That was just wrong. And I wanted to give a face to these now more than 300 women who have come out.” (Toback has denied all allegations of harassment.) @therealselmablair is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Blaise Godbe Lipman | Director

  • Accused his former agent Tyler Grasham of sexually assaulting him when he was only 18.

Rose McGowan | Artist And Activist

  • Accused Weinstein of sexual harassment in 1997. They already reached a settlement, but her decision to speak up to the press in 2017 helped expose Weinstein.

Radio DJ David Mueller groped Taylor Swift during a photo op in 2013. She reported him to his radio station, KYGO, and he was terminated. He said her accusations were false and sued Swift. She countersued for $1 and won. "When I testified, I had already had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team, including my mother … I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me … Why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ass has ever been said in Colorado federal court." (Mueller’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) @taylorswift is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Wendy Walsh | Former Fox News Contributor

  • Accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment, and Fox News fired him.

Lindsey Reynolds| Food-Blog Editor

  • Spoke out against the culture of harassment at the restaurant group run by John Besh, a celebrity chef. Besh has since apologized for "unacceptable behavior."

Isabel Pascual | Strawberry Picker

  • In a march in LA, Pascual gave a voice to fellow agricultural workers by speaking out about being stalked and harassed. Pascual's name has been changed to protect her family.

Lindsay Meyer | Entrepreneur

  • Called out Justin Caldbeck, for harassing her. Caldbeck was a venture capitalist who invested in her first company. Since then, six other women have reported harassment against Caldbeck, who has resigned from his firm.

Juana Melara | Housekeeper

  • Spoke up about an incident in which she was working and hotel guests propositioned and exposed themselves to her.

Sandra Muller | Journalist

  • Started the Twitter hashtag #BalanceTonPorc (Expose Your Pig) in France, inspiring women to stand against sexual harassment.

Rose McGowan reached a settlement with producer Harvey Weinstein in 1997 after accusing him of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room. McGowan’s decision to speak to the press this year helped expose Weinstein as a serial harasser. "The number of people sharing their stories with me is so intense, especially since all of this is incredibly triggering for me as well. People forget a lot that there’s a human behind this, someone who is very hurt. But that’s O.K. It fuels my fire. They really f-cked with the wrong person." (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non­consensual sex.) @rosemcgowan is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Susan Fowler | Former Uber Engineer

  • Wrote a blog post about the harassment she experienced as an engineer at Uber. The post went viral. Since then, Uber launched an investigation that lead to its CEO, Travis Kalanick, and 20 other employees getting fired.

Terry Crews | Actor

  • Suing agent Adam Venit and William Morris Endeavor for sexual assault. Since then, Venit has been suspended from his agency.

When she quit her job as social-media manager at the restaurant group of celebrity chef John Besh, Lindsey Reynolds sent an email to her bosses complaining about the company’s culture of sexism. She later filed a complaint with the EEOC. Besh has since stepped down. “After I sent that email, I burst into tears and felt sick to my stomach and was shaking. I was nobody. I’m just a person from a small town in Texas. I have no money, no power, no social standing. And they have more power and money than I will ever have. I felt extremely vulnerable and scared. Then I heard from women I had never met—they worked as line cooks while I worked in corporate—who had experienced the same toxic culture.” (The company said it is working to enact policies to create a culture of safety and respect. Besh has apologized for “unacceptable” behavior and “moral failings,” and resigned.) Reynolds is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon | University of Rochester Professors

  • Collectively, along with six other current and former members of the brain and cognitive sciences department of the University of Rochester, filed complaints to the university and the EEOC alleging harassment and retaliation.

Megyn Kelly | Journalist

  • Called out Bill O'Reilly for claiming that no one at Fox News complained about his behavior when she had in 2016. Also spoke about about sexual harassment by Roger Ailes, former Fox News CEO.

Jane Merrick | Journalist

  • Revealed that Britain's Defense Secretary, Michael Fallon, lunged at her in 2003.

Zelda Perkins | Producer

  • Harvey Weinstein's former British assistance, who dared to speak out about Weinstein's actions and his behavior around her.

In France, Sandra Muller started the Twitter hashtag #BalanceTonPorc (Expose Your Pig), which helped inspire women to march in the streets to protest sexual harassment. "France is a country of love, but there is love and love, you know? There are ways to approach a woman, and if it’s done with respect, it’s O.K. Without respect, it’s not good. Now if men want your love, they have to ask themselves how to be, how to approach a woman. They are scared. We must restart all relationships from the beginning. We have to cleanse society to find a better way. I’m sure the road will be long and difficult, but it will be positive in the end." Muller is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Terry Reintke | Parliament Member

  • A German member of European Parliament who discussed her own harassment during a speech.

Bex Bailey | Charity Worker

  • A labour activist who spoke out about being raped at a party event, despite being told by Labour official that the attack would "damage" her future prospects.

Terry Crews is suing agent Adam Venit and William Morris Endeavor for sexual assault. Crews says Venit groped him in front of his wife at an industry event. Venit was briefly suspended from the agency. "People were saying, ‘You should have beaten him up.’ I’m like, Why is nobody questioning him? Nobody questions the predator. You know why? Because they just expect it. And I expect it. And I just said, ‘No more.’ Why are you questioning the victim here? Let’s flip it. Let’s talk about what the predator is doing." (The agency said it had suspended and demoted Venit, who declined to comment.) @terrycrews is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Amanda Schmitt | Art Curator

  • Sued a publisher of Artforum, Knight Landesman, for sexual harassment. He has since stepped down from his position.

Adama Iwu | Lobbyist

  • Organized an open letter to call out harassment in California's capital, launching a state-senate investigation. The letter has been signed by 147 women.

University of Rochester professors Celeste Kidd (right) and Jessica Cantlon (left), along with six current and former members of the brain and cognitive sciences department, filed complaints with the university and the EEOC, alleging harassment and retaliation. “If they couldn’t stop us from talking, they were going to stop every­body from listening,” says Cantlon. “The administration went into our emails to try to find pieces of material that they could use to embarrass us or try to make other faculty members angry with us. But eight of us linked arms and continued to pursue the complaint. I think working together was powerful. It was hard to silence all of us.” (The university has launched an investigation led by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White.) Kidd and Cantlon are among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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Anonymous Woman | Hospital Worker

  • A mother of two who spoke up at her hospital where she worked that an executive continuously came on to her.

Anonymous Woman | Former Office Assistant

  • A Native American woman who was sexually harassed by a co-worker. The woman felt trapped, but her office had no HR department. She didn't think her conservative colleagues or family would believe her, so she quit her job.

Susan Fowler’s February blog post about the harassment she experienced as an engineer at @uber went viral. Uber then launched an investigation that led to the ousting of its CEO Travis Kalanick and more than 20 other employees. "When other women spoke out, they were retaliated against. So there were certain things that I thought I could avoid: 'I'm not going to sue, because they'll make me sign a non­disclosure agreement. I'm not going to do press right afterward, because they'll say I’m doing it for attention. I can’t have any emotion in my blog. I have to be very, very detached.' And I had to make sure that every single thing that I included in there had extensive physical documentation, so it couldn’t be 'he said, she said.' And that's what I did." @susanthesquark is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY

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The Times article detailed the heroic acts of celebrities to real-life women, whose experiences reflect those of us behind the cameras. Time believes that when we look back at 2017, we remember this movement. And so do we.


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