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Story of the Year 2017

VO: MW WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher

Script written by Savannah Sher

As the year comes to an end, WatchMojo wants to highight the news story that has resonated the most over the course of the last twelve months. The sexual assault allegations which overtook the news over the course of the past year were undoubtedly a pivotal moment in a greater cultural renaissance. Above all, we want to focus on the women whose bravery will ultimately change the world.

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Transcript
Script written by Savannah Sher

Story of the Year 2017


The 2017 news cycle was dominated by women and men whose bravery ultimately changed the world, and sparked a pivotal moment in a greater cultural renaissance. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re highlighting the news story that resonated most throughout 2017: the sexual abuse allegations that swept through Hollywood and other industries.

On October 5th, 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times broke a story about film producer and Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct. While at first the media focused on the lengthy record of Weinstein’s abuse of power, in the days and weeks that followed, a ripple effect was felt as more and more women (and some men) began coming forward with their own stories of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of some of the entertainment industry’s most well-known and influential figures. Listing all of the accused would be too exhaustive, as with every passing day, new names were added to the ledger.

On October 15th, in the midst of all this, actress Alyssa Milano revived a phrase coined by activist Tarana Burke over a decade earlier in order to start a social media campaign that would ultimately become a viral sensation. Milano suggested that everyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment use the hashtag #metoo to share their stories, and let others know they are not alone in their experiences. Just 24 hours after the campaign began, #metoo had been used millions of times across a variety of social media platforms. People from around the world bravely told their stories of sexism, abuse, harassment and rape, while some simply posted the hashtag with no accompanying text, which spoke loudly enough on its own.

While some expressed concern that the scandal would turn into a “witch hunt,” a much larger voice proudly declared it a time of reckoning. It became clear that this issue was not exclusive to Hollywood, and that every industry in the world has been affected by it. And it was nothing new; it’s just that 2017 was the first time the accusers were heard and believed, rather than the powerful men they were pointing their fingers at. The fact that so many individuals were willing to risk their careers and reputations to make the entertainment industry safer and to dismantle the power structures that oppressed women was inspiring, to say the least.

2017 will inevitably be defined by the movement that arose in the wake of these stories, and in the years to come we can only hope for safer spaces for people of all gender identities, be it in the workplace or elsewhere. While it would be easy for us to remember 2017 as the year of the Harvey Weinstein story or the year so many prominent men were knocked off their pedestals, we’re choosing to remember it as the year a seismic cultural shift began.
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