The #MeToo “silence breakers” have the designation of being Time magazine’s most influential “person” of 2017, and now, the movement’s founder, Tarana Burke, will usher in the new year live from Times Square.
Burke, who began the Me Too movement a decade ago, will push the ceremonial Waterford crystal button to signal the ball drop, which officially begins the 60-second countdown to 2018, Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, co-organizers of the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, announced Monday.
“New Year’s is a time when we look at the most significant cultural and political moments of the last year, when we look for inspiration by honoring and giving a global platform to those who have made a difference,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. “Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.”
Burke said she is “delighted” to join in the occasion that will be watched by millions live and around the globe. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018,” she added. “With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work, and we won’t stop anytime soon.”
Burke founded Me Too 10 years ago as a way to reach sexual assault victims in underserved communities. The movement gained momentum and became a rallying cry in October when actress Alyssa Milano urged women to use it as a hashtag to show how common sexual harassment and sexual assault are.
“This is the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women — and some men, too — who came forward to tell their own stories,” Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal told NBC News after the magazine announced Me Too’s “silence breakers” were its “Person of the Year.”