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Time magazine chooses ‘MeToo’ movement as Person of Year

(AP Photo)

A social movement to acknowledge and raise awareness of and combat sexual assault and harassment has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The announcement was made Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was fired last week amid harassment allegations.

The Silence Breakers are TIME's Person of the Year 2017. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photographs and cover composite by Billy & Hells for TIME; animation by @brobeldesign. #TIMEPOY

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Host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged during the segment that this year’s winner hits “close to home” and mentioned Lauer by name.

Previous winner President Donald Trump was first runner-up to the Silence Breakers” in the annual honor.

Xi Jinping, president of China, was second runner-up; special counsel Robert Mueller was third runner-up.

The only other woman who had made the shortlist of 10 released earlier in the week, was movie director Patty Jenkins. Her hit, “Wonder Woman,” made the industry take notice with its $821 million worldwide box-office gross.

Hollywood was the early focal point of MeToo. Women who spoke out, initially against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and then others, helped to spawn the movement.

Since the October allegations against Weinstein, millions of people have posted their stories of being sexually harassed on social media, using the hashtag #MeToo.

The tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts began after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed up 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. But #MeToo was actually founded by activist Tarana Burke a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.

Milano has said she wasn’t aware of Burke’s contributions when she made her initial tweet and has since publicly credited Burke.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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