"Silence Breakers", mostly comprising women, represents people from various industries that came forward to share their stories of sexual misconduct/harassment.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump was the runner-up, closely followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Silence Breakers have a voice
TIME magazine wrote: "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're part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice."
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Fastest-moving social change seen in decades
The anti-sexual harassment movement is associated with #MeToo campaign on social media, which gained momentum as allegations against Hollywood film-producer Harvey Weinstein emerged.
However, TIME says #MeToo is only "part of the picture, but not all of it."
TIME's Editor-in-Chief, Edward Felsenthal stated: "This is the fastest-moving social change. It began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage."
TIME on why it chose "Silence Breakers"
"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...CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought."
Thousands of women, men pointed to big names
#MeToo hashtag, created by activist Tarana Burke over a decade ago, took off recently when actor Alyssa Milano tweeted, asking followers to reply with "Me Too" if they were sexually assaulted/harassed.
Several high-profile men were accused of sexual harassment/misconduct, starting with Harvey Weinstein and including Kevin Spacey, director James Toback, comedian Louis CK, former NBC anchor Matt Lauer, and Denver radio DJ David Mueller.
Movement fueled worldwide discussion about sexual harassment, assault
TIME says the movement "doesn't have a leader, or a single, unifying tenet."
It said, "The hashtag #MeToo (adapted into #BalanceTonPorc, #YoTambien, #Ana_kaman and many others in other languages)...provided an umbrella of solidarity for millions of people to come forward with their stories."
It also added: "This reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries."
Women from different backgrounds featured on TIME cover
TIME magazine's cover features Ashley Judd (spoke out against Weinstein), singer Taylor Swift (won lawsuit against Mueller who groped her).
Others include Isabel Pascual, a strawberry picker, and corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu.
The cover illustrates "the ubiquitous nature" of sexual abuse/harassment.