(RNN) - The #MeToo movement won recognition as Time’s 2017 Person of the Year, announced on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday morning.
The #MeToo movement has led to a reckoning in American culture about the mistreatment of women, often by men in positions of power.
The cover of the magazine features a group of women called "the Silence Breakers," including, from left, Isabel Pascual, a strawberry picker; Ashley Judd, one of the women who accused media mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment; lobbyist Adama Iwu (in front); former Uber engineer Susan Fowler; and Taylor Swift, who sued a former radio host for groping her during a photo shoot.
The cover shot included a woman partially in the photograph, whose face is not seen. This was a purposeful choice.
“The image you see partially on the cover is of a woman we talked to… who doesn’t feel that she can come forward without threatening her livelihood,” explained Edward Felsenthal, Time editor in chief.
"I could never imagine this, I could never have envisioned something that could change the world," said Tarana Burke, who created the Me Too concept in 2006.
The movement started in 2016 after the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Trump making vulgar comments about women. In October, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein resigned from his film studio after dozenswomen charging him with sexual assault.
Thousands more women have used the hashtag #MeToo to draw attention to the pervasive problem of sexual harassment.
The announcement of the Me Too movement as Person of the Year occured in the same studio where host Savannah Guthrie announced last week that her cohost Matt Lauer had been fired because of alleged sexual misconduct.
The finalists for the 2017 Person of the Year included notorious world leaders and Twitter adversaries President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, was nominated as he became the richest man in the world with a fortune of $100 billion give or take. His internet innovations have reshaped the landscape of American commerce. He also is the owner of the Washington Post. He was previously named Person of the Year in 1999.
The Dreamers were also nominated as a group – the 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents. They are facing deportation as Trump’s administration has rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, usually called DACA.
Chinese President XI Jinping was nominated for the honor in recognition of how he has grown in global influence. His grip on power was solidified last October when the Communist Party voted to include his ideas in the party constitution. Only Mao Zedong has previously been so honored.
Trump, the winner in 2016, came in second for the honor. He said in November that he had turned down the award, which Time denied. Kim Jong Un has drawn Trump’s anger with repeated tests of missiles that could carry a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the U.S. mainland or the nation’s Asian allies.
Two of the other nominees were also Trump antagonists – former FBI Director and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Mohammed bin Salman, 32, was also named to the short list. Named crown prince of Saudi Arabia by his father, King Salman, Mohammed bin Salman is a dynamic member of the ruling family of the Middle East’s wealthiest nation.
Patty Jenkins earned a spot on Time's shortlist because she directed the blockbuster "Wonder Woman," becoming the first female director of an American studio superhero movie.
Bin Salman won a Time reader poll of who they would select as Person of the Year, followed by the #MeToo movement, Kaepernick, Mueller and the Dreamers.
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