by Gavin Sampson
Every Year Time Magazine releases its “Person of the Year” award. The award has existence since 1927 when it was given to Charles Lindbergh. This recognition is not an award in the normal sense of the word. Earning Person of the Year does not necessarily mean you are being praised and put on a pedestal. It simply means one has been talked about extensively in media. In fact, many recipients of the award have been what many would consider malicious actors.
The 2017 Time Person of the Year was actually a group. The “Silence Breakers” who were a group of women who began the social media phenomenon the #MeToo movement. The MeToo movement is a national and somewhat international movement of men and women coming forward to speak on their experiences of sexual assault and misconduct. The magazine used many of the women who began the movement as the centerpieces of the story and the cover. Some of these women were software engineer Susan Fowler, actress Ashley Judd, and singer Taylor Swift. The #MeToo movement was one of the largest media stories of the second half of 2017 and is still affecting industries today.
Prior to releasing this year’s Person of the Year time released a list of possible choices. Some of the runner-ups to the “Silence Breakers” were President Donald Trump, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Many of these other choices were also massive influences in the news. Like him or hate him no one can deny President Donald Trump’s massive media influence over the past year. Also, going on the tide of an extreme media presence we have Kim Jong-Un who was extremely important as the North Korean dictatorship reached new advances in its quest for nuclear weapons. The verbal battles between President Trump and North Korea were partially the cause for rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. General Secretary Xi Jinping of China has also been in the news for his recent increases in power over China. Many others who were very important in the past year, such as the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos who just recently became the richest man in the world, were also part of the possible list released by Time.
Time Magazine’s well-known list of renowned people is an annual tradition that almost always stirs up some conspiracy and some contention as people argue for who they believe should have been the recipient. As this year was a group of people as opposed to one single recipient we have to look at the values presented by the #MeToo movement as opposed to a looking at one person. Whomever you believe should have received the award the “Silence Breakers” movement have already had a massive effect on the movie industry and many other industries when it comes to treatment of harassment and assault incidents. The impact they began will continue to be felt in the world for years to come. The effects that come from the movement will hopefully end in positive changes for many industries.