Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, will kick off Times Square’s iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City.
“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” Burke said in a statement shared on Twitter. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018. With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work and we won’t stop anytime soon.”
Burke is a social activist who has worked with victims of sexual assault for more than a decade. Following sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Burke and actress Alyssa Milano launched the #MeToo movement on Twitter in October to encourage victims to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment.
Welp! Looks like the cat is out of the bag. Yours truly will be pressing the Waterford crystal button to release the ball drop in Times Square on NYE. We are setting intentions for the new year. #metoo2018 pic.twitter.com/iYGfyvnvqJ— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) December 18, 2017
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The hashtag has since unleashed a torrent of accusations and confessions all over the world, leading to a wave of resignations and dismissals mostly of men accused of abusing positions of power.
“New Year’s is a time when we look at the most significant cultural and political moments of the last year, when we look for inspiration by honoring and giving a global platform to those who have made a difference,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, told amNewYork. “Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.”
Last year, an estimated 2 million people flocked to Times Square to celebrate the New Year.