The ‘Silence Breakers’ Are Time’s 2017 Person of the Year. Here’s a Look Back at Past Winners
Drum roll, please.
The “Silence Breakers,” the women who’ve spoken out against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace, have been named Time‘s 2017 Person of the Year.
The honor recognizes the on-going #MeToo movement that started in earnest with the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, which came to light in October. But story also features other women—ex-Uber engineer Susan Fowler, for one—who came forward even before then to publicly call out how they’d been mistreated at work.
“[T]his moment is borne of a very real and potent sense of unrest,” Time reports. “Yet it doesn’t have a leader, or a single, unifying tenet.”
The 2017 Person of the Year was highly anticipated, due in part to President Donald Trump’s tweet in November stating he’d passed on an interview and photo shoot with Time because the magazine said he was only “probably” going to be Person of the Year. Time responded that the president was “incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year.”
“TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6,” it said.
Today’s the day and the “Silence Breakers” are this year’s honorees. Here’s a look back at who’s claimed the title in the past:
Time Person of the Year 2016: Donald Trump
Then President-elect Donald Trump, who dealt a stunning defeat to campaign rival Hillary Clinton, captured the title last year.
Time Person of the Year 2015: Angela Merkel
In 2015, another head of state was named Person of the Year—German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her leadership in the EU, and for thwarting and managing a range of crises.
Time Person of the Year 2014: Ebola fighters
The year saw the emergence of an Ebola epidemic that started in western Africa and eventually reached the shores of Europe. Therefore, the 2014 honor went to the U.S. Doctors Without Borders/(MSF), the Christian medical-relief workers of Samaritan’s Purse, and others who risked their lives to “answer the call.”
Time Person of the Year 2013: Pope Francis
Pope Francis, “the People’s Pope” and the first non-European pope in 1,200 years, was deemed Person of the Year in 2013.
Time Person of the Year 2012: Barack Obama
After winning his second term as president, Barack Obama was Time‘s Person of the Year in 2012; it was the second time he’d received the honor.
Time Person of the Year 2011: The Protester
2011 was a year of protests across the globe: a Tunisian fruit vendor self-immolated, spawning the Arab Spring, and “the 1%” entered our collective lexicon, as protesters began the Occupy movement. As such, “The Protester” was 2011’s winner.
Time Person of the Year 2010: Mark Zuckerberg
In 2010, Time named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year. He claimed the honor for connecting more than half a billion people, for creating a new system of exchanging information, and for dramatically changing how we live our lives.
Time Person of the Year 2009: Ben Bernanke
On the heels of one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression, Ben Bernanke, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, was named the winner in 2009.
Time Person of the Year 2008: Barack Obama
Barack Obama made history in 2008, becoming the first African-American to be elected U.S. president. For this achievement, he was named Person of the Year in 2008.
Time Person of the Year 2007: Vladimir Putin
In what many thought would be his final year as president, Russia’s Vladimir Putin was named Person of the Year.