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TIME announces 2017 'Person of the Year'

The #MeToo movement took off after several high-profile

The #MeToo movement took off after several high-profile sexual harassment scandals. Credit: Getty Images / David McNew

"The Silence Breakers" of the anti-harassment #MeToo movement have been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year."

In the wake of sexual misconduct revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and dozens of other men, millions worldwide have shared their stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.

The movement began spontaneously in October after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed 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. The #MeToo movement was founded by activist Tarana Burke on Twitter a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.

Time's announcement was made Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was fired last week amid harassment allegations. "Today" host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged Wednesday that this year's winner hits "close to home" and mentioned Lauer by name.

President Donald Trump was the first runner-up, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump himself has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women and denied any wrongdoing.

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