Each December, speculation builds about who Time magazine will select as its Person of the Year. That tradition that dates back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh was selected as the inaugural honoree (according to Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.) Past recipients include almost every U.S. president since then (with the notable absence of Gerald Ford), as well as spiritual leaders, businessmen, cultural influencers, pacifists, dictators and revolutionaries. Time even picked “You” as the Person of the Year back in 2006, a reflection of how social media has reshaped society.
But enough with that historical preamble, interesting though it may be. This year, the magazine’s editors again made a somewhat tech-inspired choice: the #MeToo campaign of those who’ve spoken out against sexual harassment, a group of women they’ve dubbed “The Silence Breakers.” It’s a movement that’s gathered culture-shifting momentum in recent weeks, beginning with allegations of abuse by Harvey Weinstein, and moving swiftly to identify a long list of other prominent men in the entertainment industry, in government, in media and in business.
In the article’s introduction, co-authors Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman and Haley Sweetland Edwards write, “The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City’s regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They’re part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.”
Also in Time’s extensive coverage of the sexual assault story this year is an interview with the magazine’s Entertainment Person of the Year, Taylor Swift, who talks about why she chose to confront her abuser in a court case back in August.
Repercussions of allegations continue to ripple outward, especially in the political realm, with resignations of some politicians and calls for others to step down. Meanwhile, in the entertainment realm, Netflix has announced that its popular series House of Cards will continue without star Kevin Spacey, who was one of those accused of sexual improprieties in recent weeks. Robin Wright portrays Claire Underwood on the show, wife of nefarious President Frank Underwood, who was played by Spacey. In his absence, Claire will reportedly assume the presidency herself, which NBC contributor Meredith Clarke describes as “the catharsis women need after #MeToo.”
You might have expected ratings for NBC’s Today show to tank after allegations of abuse ended anchor Matt Lauer’s career. But—perhaps because people want to know the details of what happened—the opposite has occurred, with Today’s ratings surging after the story broke.
Though some in mainstream culture have professed surprise at the men identified and taken down by these scandals, Christianity Today editor Mark Galli soberly, powerfully reminds us that our “desperately wicked” hearts can only find hope for redemption and reconciliation in Jesus Christ.
Rap kingpin Jay Z admitted in a lengthy interview with the New York Times that all those rumors about his alleged cheating on wife Beyoncé were true. But he also talked candidly about the couple’s determination to repair the damage his infidelity caused. “You know, most people walk away, and [the] divorce rate is like 50% or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves,” he said. “The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. … Most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself.”
YouTube, meanwhile, remains embroiled in an ongoing controversy of its own regarding explicit content showing up in videos with a young audience. In response, the company has announced that it will be adding more reviewers to review video content aimed at kids.
And if you thought boy bands were a thing of the past. They’re still with us, with one of the newest ones making waves—BTS—hailing from South Korea.
Elsewhere this week, Forbes reports that teens who vape are seven times more likely to pick up tobacco cigarettes as they get older. Hugh Jackman talked about turning down the role of James Bond because he thought the stories were just too unbelievable. And for those who’ve ever wondered what would happen if a service dog showed up at a live performance of the musical Cats, well, this article should provide a nice, cleansing, LOL moment for you.