The Hollywood abuse “silence breakers” have been named as Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year.
The decision to grant people who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct with the accolade was announced on NBC’s Today show on Wednesday morning.
The award is decided by Time’s editors and goes to the person or group who has had the most influence on the year’s news for better or worse.
“This is the fastest moving social change we have seen in decades,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told the programme.
“It began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women – and some men, too – who came forward to tell their own stories,”
The decision to give the award to the “silence breakers” is a nod to the scores of people who have come forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault and harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein fallout.
More than 50 women have publicly accused Weinstein – who produced Oscar-winning films Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, and The Artist – of sexual harassment, assault, rape, and inappropriate behaviour that spans four decades.
Since the allegations emerged in October, a stream of similar allegations have been made against powerful men across the globe. Social media has also been inundated with people using the #metoo hashtag to share their own stories of sexual misconduct and denounce such acts.
US President Donald Trump, who was bestowed with the accolade last year, American football player Colin Kaepernick, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were all on the shortlist for the magazine’s award.
There was only one woman on the list – Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon who also controls the Washington Post, was also shortlisted.
Robert Mueller – the former FBI Director who is investigating the alleged collusion between Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign team and Russian officials – was another nominee.
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the list for recently leading “a sweeping crackdown on businessmen and members of the royal family accused of corruption,” according to Time.
The age-old tradition of the person of the year can be traced back to 1927 when Charles Lindbergh – the first person to fly a plane solo across the Atlantic – was granted the honour.
The “better or worse” proviso allows for deeply unpopular people to be granted the award if they have exerted a great deal of influence on the news agenda. Adolf Hitler infamously won the award in 1938, as did Josef Stalin in 1939 and 1942. In 2015, the leader of Isis, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, was placed second.
Disgraced Hollywood film producer Weinstein, who was expelled from the Oscars and sacked from his namesake company, denies all allegations of non-consensual sexual acts.
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