TIME‘s Person of the Year honor didn’t just go to one person, but rather the numerous women and men who spoke out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. “The Silence Breakers” — which include #MeToo creator Tarana Burke, Ashley Judd, Selma Blair, Taylor Swift, Alyssa Milano, Terry Crews, and Megyn Kelly — were revealed on the cover of TIME‘s annual issue on Wednesday morning.
“This is the fastest moving social change that we’ve seen in decades and it began with individual acts of courage of hundreds of women, and some men, too, who came forward to tell their own stories of sexual harassment and assault,” TIME editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said on the TODAY show when the announcement was made.
Judd was one of the first women to come forward with claims against Harvey Weinstein, the now-disgraced movie mogul accused of decades of sexual harassment and assault by numerous individuals throughout the industry. Since then, a great deal more have come forward.
Blair — along with Rachel McAdams — accused director James Toback of similar misconduct, Swift confronted her alleged groper in open court, Crews came forward with claims against a now-demoted Hollywood agent, and Kelly accused former Fox News head Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.
Burke, meanwhile, launched the #MeToo campaign on social media, which gave people around the world a platform to share their own experiences. Milano, who has also been speaking out about the culture of harassment, gave the initiative a boost.
Felsenthal also addressed President Donald Trump, who claimed representatives from TIME called him up to say he was “probably” going to be Person of the 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,” POTUS tweeted.
Trump was named runner-up for Person of the Year. “He’s No. 2 on our list because he has changed the very nature of the presidency and the way the White House functions,” Felsenthal said. “He is on the verge of a first major legislative victory, he’s reshaping the judiciary [system], and aggressively rolling back regulations. The tweet that he sent wasn’t correct. In fact, we did the photo shoot for the reveal we’re about to [show] five days before the tweet. We didn’t say ‘probably,’ but you know how it goes.”