The top contenders for TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year – which will be revealed later this week – includes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the #MeToo movement, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The famous title is given to the person or group of people who, for better or worse, wielded the most influence in the previous 12 months. The ultimate decision is made by editors of TIME Magazine and will be revealed at 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show.
A shortlist released on Monday includes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who was repeatedly in the news this year as tensions continued to rise on the Korean Peninsula, fueled by North Korea’s frequent missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as U.S. military exercises and threatening statements by President Donald Trump.
Also on the list is the #MeToo movement in the wake of sexual assault allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, which prompted men and women across the world to reveal their own stories of sexual harassment and abuse. Dozens of powerful men in the movie, journalism, entertainment, and business industries have been fired or forced to resign as a result of alleged misconduct.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is accused of trying to consolidate his power through an anti-corruption purge in which hundreds of businessmen and members of the royal family were arrested, is also on the list. He also won TIME Magazine’s online poll with 24 percent.
Donald Trump, who was named Person of the Year in 2016, is also on the shortlist after a turbulent year in which the new U.S. president filled the headlines on an almost daily basis. American presidents have often won the title multiple times, with Franklin D. Roosevelt claiming it a record 3 times.
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to investigate Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to Trump’s presidential campaign, is also on the shortlist, even though most of his work so far has taken place behind closed doors.
Other possibilities include “The Dreamers,” a group of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and who now face an uncertain future after Trump announced that he will end a policy that shields them from deportation.
Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon and now the world’s richest person as he continues to expand his retail empire, is also on the list. Also being considered is Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will also be considered after he was given a second five-year term and was written into the Communist Party’s constitution, reinforcing his status as the country’s most powerful leader in decades.
Finally, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins will also be considered by the editors of TIME Magazine. The movie broke numerous box-office records when it was released earlier this year Jenkins became the first woman to direct a film that made more than $100 million in its opening weekend.
In recent years, the contest was won by Trump (2016), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2015), the Ebola fighters (2014), Pope Francis (2013), U.S. President Barack Obama (2012), The Protester (2011), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (2010), and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (2009).
Prior to that, the contest was won by: Barack Obama (2008), Russian President Vladimir Putin (2007), “You” to represent content creators on the internet (2006), The Good Samaritans for the organizers of the Live 8 benefit concerts (2005), U.S. President George W. Bush (2004), and the American soldier after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
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