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Sorry, Donald – you didn’t win Person of the Year

Person of the year
Image: Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year award went to those who sparked the #MeToo movement

People who sparked the #MeToo movement by speaking out over sexual harassment have been honoured as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

Collectively dubbed the ‘Silence Breakers’, the men and women are honoured for having the confidence to share stories of their experiences in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The allegations against the disgraced Hollywood producer prompted the #MeToo movement, which encouraged others to share their experiences on social media.

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood, California on November 12, 2017. Several hundred women gathered in front of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood before marching to the CNN building to hold a rally. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump – who won the 2016 award following his shock election victory over Hillary Clinton – is also cited as a source of inspiration for women to speak out, after he entered the White House despite a recording of him boasting of grabbing women by the p**** being made public just weeks prior.

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.

The Silence Breakers – represented on the magazine cover by actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler – were chosen for unleashing “one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s”, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said.

Alyssa Milano started the 'Me Too' campaign to highlight the scale of sexual assault

“The idea that influential, inspirational individuals shape the world could not be more apt this year,” he added.

“For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, the Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year.

“The galvanising 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.”

Rose McGowan speaking out against Harvey Weinstein after her interview broke the story.
Image: Rose McGowan speaking out against Harvey Weinstein after her interview broke the story

Several high-profile figures found themselves facing claims as a result of #MeToo, including actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis CK and Demo/Purchasecrat Senator Al Franken

The US leads the way when it comes to the amount of Twitter activity surrounding the hashtag, with the UK in second, followed by Canada, France and India.

In total there have been 3.2 million tweets sent about #MeToo, with some of the most widely shared sent by famous faces including Bette Midler and Lady Gaga.

Mr Trump had been a finalist for the Time award again this year, alongside Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Also nominated were the Dreamers – a group of undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children who face fears of deportation under President Trump’s administration.

Notable winners from prior years are Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Pope Francis and Mark Zuckerberg.

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speak onstage during the ___ panel during 2017 New York Comic Con - Day 3 at Theater at Madison Square Gardenon October 7, 2017 in New York City.
Image: Anthony Rapp, who began the allegations against Kevin Spacey

The title is defined as “a person (or people) who has had the most influence over the news in the last 12 months”.

It has been running since 1927, when it was won by American aircraft pilot Charles Lindbergh – the first person to fly a plane solo non-stop across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris.

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  • Check Also

    Far-right party to enter Austrian government

    Heinz-Christian Strache
    Image: The FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache is tipped to be deputy chancellor

    Austria is set to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government.

    The head of the conservative People’s Party (OVP), Sebastian Kurz, has struck a coalition deal with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).

    The FPO will take charge of the foreign, interior and defence ministries, among others, while its leader, 48-year-old Heinz-Christian Strache, will be deputy chancellor.

    Mr Kurz, 31, will be the youngest leader in Europe. His OVP will run ministries including finance and justice.

    When the OVP won Austria’s election on 15 October it did so with a hard line on immigration – a policy which often overlapped with that of the FPO.

    The FPO was third, taking 26% of the vote.

    “Nobody has anything to fear,” said the FPO’s secretary general and Austria’s next interior minister, Herbert Kickl.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Sebastian Kurz says he wants to increase security and combat illegal immigraton

    Mr Kurz held a joint news conference with Mr Strache and told reporters: “Our aims are quite clear.

    “We want to ease the tax burden for people, we want to strengthen our economy, which will bolster our social system.”

    Mr Kurz, known as ‘wunderwuzzi’ or ‘whizz-kid’, added: “And first and foremost we want to increase security in our country, including by combating illegal immigration.”

    While Mr Kurz has said his administration will be pro-European, both he and Mr Strache have expressed doubts about further social integration.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Mr Kurz, 31, is Europe’s youngest leader

    The two men presented their agreement to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, a former Greens leader who narrowly beat the FPO in a presidential vote in 2015.

    Mr Van der Bellen, who has the right to reject ministers, has said a new government could be sworn in early next week if everything went to plan.

    Following their meeting, Mr Van der Bellen said they had agreed it was in Austria’s “national interest” to remain at the “centre of a strong European Union”.

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    The FPO’s success mirrors that of similar parties across Europe. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party is now the second-largest in the Netherlands, the Front National in France was involved in a run-off for the presidency in May and representatives from Germany’s AfD have entered the Bundestag.

    When the FPO was last in government, under the late Joerg Haider, other EU countries imposed sanctions on Vienna in protest.

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