NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The silence breakers have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
Sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and numerous other high-profile men in entertainment, media, business and sports, prompted millions worldwide to tweet about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault using the hashtag #MeToo.
“We’re been working on this feature for a month and every day there was something new that we had to respond to so it isn’t a story that’s over, it just keeps growing,” Time writer Stephanie Zacharek told 1010 WINS.
The movement began spontaneously in October after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours.
“Millions of women started coming through and speaking up about their own stories of harassment and abuse, especially in the workplace. So we decided that it was time to focus on them and their stories,” Zacharek said.
The #MeToo movement was founded by activist Tarana Burke on Twitter a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.
The announcement was made Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was fired last week amid harassment allegations. “Today” host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged Wednesday that this year’s winner hits “close to home” and mentioned Lauer by name.
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The two runners-up were Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump, himself accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was also a finalist.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)