The women and men who have come forward in #MeToo droves with accusations of sexual harassment or sexual assault were selected as TIME’s Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers.
“This reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries,” TIME wrote of their choice. “Women have had it with bosses and co-workers who not only cross boundaries but don’t even seem to know that boundaries exist. They’ve had it with the fear of retaliation, of being blackballed, of being fired from a job they can’t afford to lose. They’ve had it with the code of going along to get along. They’ve had it with men who use their power to take what they want from women.”
“These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought.”
The article mentioned President Trump’s Access Hollywood tape comments. “I have real doubts about whether we’d be going through this if Hillary Clinton had won, because I think that President Trump’s election in many ways was a setback for women,” NBC and former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly said of the #MeToo movement.
And it mentioned Summer Zervos, the former Apprentice contestant who said that Trump grabbed and kissed her at the Beverly Hill Hotel in 2007 when she went to meet him about a possible Trump Organization job. Trump said she lied, and Zervos is currently suing the president for defamation. Trump’s lawyers argued Tuesday in New York state court that Trump is too busy to deal with the lawsuit, while Zervos’ offered to do a video deposition during one of Trump’s golf trips to Mar-a-Lago.
TIME included a new survey that found 93 percent of Democrats say they believe women alleging sexual harassment, compared to 78 percent of Republicans. Fifty-two percent of GOPs said they believe media coverage of men accused of sexual harassment is unfair, while 20 percent of Dems said that. Fifty-five percent of Republicans said the #MeToo movement was a distraction, while 77 percent of Democrats said meaningful change could come from the movement.
Overall, nearly eight in 10 women said sexual harassment is a big problem, while a little more than half of men agreed with that statement.
The runners-up for Person of the Year were Trump, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.
Trump tweeted on Nov. 24, “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
TIME tweeted in response, “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”