Time Magazine has named its Person of the Year for 2017 as what it describes as the ‘Silence Breakers’ of the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement on social media.

Unveiling its annual special issue on Wednesday (December 6th) with the headline “The Silence Breakers: The Voices That Launched a Movement”, Time has acknowledged the women who revealed the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and misconduct across industries from film and music to politics.

The movement is closely associated with actress Alyssa Milano, who tweeted in early October in the wake of the Weinstein allegations: “If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet.” It went on to be tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours by people sharing their stories and denouncing sexual harassment.

Milano’s former ‘Charmed’ co-star, Rose McGowan, has also been one of the most prominent figures in the aftermath of the allegations by more than 50 women against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein that set the #MeToo movement in motion.

“The number of people sharing their stories with me is so intense, especially since all of this is incredibly triggering for me as well,” McGowan told Time. “People forget a lot that there’s a human behind this, someone who is very hurt.”

More: Rose McGowan takes aim at Hollywood in passionate speech

Since the allegations against Weinstein surfaced, allegations of sexual harassment and abuse have been levelled at dozens of high-profile men in various industries, including Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and Steven Seagal.

“This is the fastest moving social change we've seen in decades,” TIME’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told NBC’s ‘Today’ programme on Wednesday. “It began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women - and some men, too - who came forward to tell their own stories.”

US President Donald Trump – who was ranked as Time’s Person of the Year in 2016 - was runner-up of the prestigious list this time around, one place ahead of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The shortlist also reportedly included North Korea’s dictator Kim Jung-un and former FBI director Robert Mueller.

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