The Silence Breakers are Time's Person of the Year

#MeToo: Time magazine's Person of the Year prize goes to 'Silence Breakers'

While originally started by African American activist Tarana Burke 10 years ago, the current #MeToo movement has been credited to actress Alyssa Milano, who tweeted on October 15 - 10 days after the New York Times article ran - that if every woman who had been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as their status, it might give others a sense of the problem's magnitude.

The group has been dubbed the "silence breakers" and includes a list of women and men who have championed the #MeToo movement in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal and the many claims against Hollywood men that followed. The women's rights activist coined the term while working with sexual violence survivors more than a decade ago, although she has not always received full recognition. In the next 48 hours, almost a million people used the #MeToo hashtag. "This is just the start". Milano has said she wasn't aware of Burke's contributions when she made her initial tweet and has since publicly credited her. It's not just a moment, it's a movement.

Milano and Burke appeared together Wednesday on the "Today" show.

Naturally, people weren't happy that TIME chose an alleged sexual abuser as a runner-up to an entire movement that seeks to end misogyny, rape culture, and the impunity enjoyed by powerful men with regards to sexual assault. "I deeply admire what many of them have done and I admire Time for honoring them", said Professor Joan Williams, founding director of Worklife Law at UC Hastings. "We're done. No more.' It's vital to me that we really set in some actionable things that we can do to continue this momentum". He has denied any wrongdoing.

The magazine said its shortlist for the 2017 Person of the Year, meant to recognize the "person or group of people who, for better or worse, wielded the most influence in the previous 12 months", also included North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, China's Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, who was chosen for the distinction last year following his election as USA president.

The magazine became embroiled in a Twitter row with Mr Trump over this year's award after he claimed he "took a pass" because the publication asked for the opportunity to meet him without confirming he would retain the title. Time has disputed his account.

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