Women in Hollywood and beyond are rallying behind TIME naming "The Silence Breakers" as the "Person of the Year," with Alyssa Milano and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke leading the charge on Wednesday morning's "Today" show.
"This was just the start. I've been saying from the beginning, it's not just a moment, it's a movement," Burke told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. "Movements take time, they build over time, and they're strategic. I think now the work really begins. Hashtag is a declaration, but now we're poised to really stand up and do the work of it."
Milano takes no credit for creating the #MeToo movement, but she did help spread awareness by calling for her Twitter followers to utilize the hashtag to tell their stories. On "Today," she named her former "Charmed" co-star Rose McGowan as an inspiration for her interest in the cause.
"My friend Rose McGowan had been very hurt and silenced for a long time, and she was fighting back and I wanted to support her in what she was going through," she said. "And in turn, support women everywhere. So I thought, you know, if women could just come forward and say #MeToo -- just two beautiful words that Tarana started -- then we could really start to shape this and get an idea of the magnitude of this issue and this problem. And I sent the tweet and I went to sleep. I woke up and there were 53,000 replies."
TIME Magazine's editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, explained the choice in the cover story. "These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought."
"It became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning, but it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage," he wrote. "For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, the Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year."
The response to TIME's choice went viral almost as quickly as Milano's original #MeToo tweet, with support for the movement and the women who stand behind it rising up to be heard once again across social media. As "The Silence Breakers" tops the trending topics on Twitter, here are some of the best tweets:
The silence breakers help men, not hurt them. They force us to think about who we are, and about the culture of bullying, intimidation, and mistreatment that extends beyond sexual harassment. Many men fear these same abusers. We just suffer fewer consequences from them. #TimePOTY
EVERY ONE of 'The Silence Breakers' have added value to the cause. Please don't discredit the inclusion of ANY of these women or devalue their contribution - their actions have been momentous. We should be thankful.#TIME #TIMEPOY pic.twitter.com/kVCB1n7xgN