Sixty seconds before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve this year, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke will push the Waterford crystal button that signals the ball drop in New York City’s Times Square and starts the official countdown leading us into 2018.
Burke announced the appearance on her personal Twitter account Monday morning.
“Welp! Looks like the cat is out of the bag,” she wrote, “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”
The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, the co-sponsors of the event, made the official announcement in a separate statement.
In the statement shared on Twitter, Burke said, “I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion. 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 is also the co-founder of Just Be Inc. She has worked with victims of sexual assault for more than 10 years. She created #MeToo more than 10 years ago.
As The Root’s Maiysha Kai wrote: “Actress Alyssa Milano, who inspired the hashtag to go viral after purportedly receiving a screenshot from a friend, used her privilege far more effectively. Milano recognized Burke’s impact and ingenuity in creating this universally relatable—yet, unfortunately, co-optive—expression of empathy. Truly, it has helped give voice to multitudes of previously silent victims around the world.”
Many women came forward with their stories of being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted by men in power.
Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, a wave of powerful men in Hollywood and media have either been dismissed from their jobs or resigned amid allegations that they have abused their positions and sexually harassed or assaulted people working for or with them.
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, told amNewYork: “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. Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.”