It feels like it’s been 2017 for about 10 years now. Seriously, remember the good old days when we thought no year could get any crazier than 2016? Just in case you need a recap, here are 12 of the most newsworthy moments of the year.
The Women’s March
As if you could possibly forget, Donald Trump won the US presidential election in November 2016. In January, to protest the inauguration of such a notorious xenophobe and misogynist, a dynamic group of feminist activists organised a Women’s March on Washington. The movement soon inspired women around the world to stage marches of their own — and the pink “pussy hat” became one of the enduring symbols of resistance in 2017.
Whether you prefer Faye over Lisa or H over Claire (nobody cares about Lee), anyone who was around in the Nineties will have been thrilled by the return of Steps, 20 years after their first reign. Their reunion tour has been called a triumph, as has their comeback single ‘Scared Of The Dark’, which reminded us why we all loved the camp, over-the-top band in the first place, and granted us a blessed reprieve from the fact that 2017 appeared to be the year of Nazis being literally everywhere.
And The Winner Is.. La La Land! Wait, No… Moonlight!
The most cringeworthy mix-up since Ross from Friends said the wrong name during his wedding vows, this year’s Best Picture Oscar went to musical romance La La Land for all of five seconds before the mistake was corrected, and the critically lauded Moonlight, a tale of a black man’s lifelong journey to self-acceptance, ultimately received the award.
And who could possibly forget Ryan Gosling’s priceless reaction…
One Love Manchester
After a tragic terror attack at her concert resulted in the deaths of 22 people, Ariana Grande showed remarkable courage and grace, honouring her fans by organising the One Love Manchester concert in their memory, with performances from Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Little Mix. The event raised over £2 million for the British Red Cross’s Manchester Emergency Fund and brought people together. It also gave us that heart-warming aerial image of a police officer dancing with concert-goers.
This airline flew head first into a PR crisis when a video leaked of a passenger being beaten and forcibly removed from a fully booked flight, reportedly so that a United employee could have his seat. The clip soon went viral, and the passenger in question received a sizeable settlement.
Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Ad
Political protest has been a recurring theme in the last year, but Pepsi made the error of thinking it would be an appropriate backdrop for a soda commercial fronted by Kendall Jenner — and the internet was not impressed. The ad was accused of cynically attempting to profit from the Black Lives Matter movement, a charge not helped by the unfortunate optics of Jenner literally giving her wig to a black woman to hold so she can go chase some activist D. Oh, and then there’s the suggestion that and police brutality can be solved with a can of pop. The entire video had us asking “what the hell were they thinking?!”
London Bridge Attack
Sadly, it would be possible to populate an entire list with the public attacks that have taken place in 2017, from the Las Vegas shootings to the attack on Westminster. So instead of giving the perpetrators of violence the oxygen of publicity, let’s instead follow the example of Richard Angell, the Londoner who returned to a restaurant to settle his bar tab and tip the staff the morning after being evacuated from the London Bridge area. Refusing to live in fear is the best way to defy terrorists, Angell told reporters: “This is the best city in the world… I’m not going to let the barbaric acts of cowardly people minimise that.”
Jodie Whittaker is The 13th Doctor
The cosmos was shook in July, when the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker would take on the iconic role of everyone’s favourite Time Lord in Doctor Who, making the character a woman for the first time in the show’s six-decade history. Whittaker will make her debut on Christmas Day, when the incumbent 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, regenerates.
Theresa May sprung yet another political race on us this year, because we weren’t exhausted enough by 2016’s EU referendum and presidential election. While the Tories remained in power, they didn’t secure the votes they thought they would — Birmingham, for example, voted overwhelmingly in favour of Labour. 2017 also saw Emmanuel Macron win the presidential election in France, beating Marine LePen — a rare and encouraging example of a white nationalist not getting what they want.
The Fall Of Harvey Weinstein
It’s been hard to avoid the revelations surrounding the predatory behaviour of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which finally came to light after years of victims being silenced. The floodgates have since opened; Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Green and Lupita Nyong’o have all shared their accounts of being harassed by Weinstein. Emboldened by this example and the solidarity of the #metoo movement, more and more victims of sexual assault and harassment have come forward across all industries, leading to many famous men finally being held accountable for their actions, and forcing us to have a much-needed conversation about consent and rape culture in our society.
The Australian Parliament Approved Same-Sex Marriage
After dragging out a postal survey on marriage equality (seriously, can we let referendums die in 2017?) Australia finally said yes, some welcome good news at the tail end of a tumultuous 12 months. Other countries to legalise same-sex marriage this year included Bermuda, Malta, Germany and Austria.
Prince Harry Proposed To Suits Star Meghan Markle
News of a royal engagement always raises our country’s spirits, and while we won’t be getting a bank holiday this time, bunting sales are sure to skyrocket all the same. Will and Kate have also announced that they’re expecting their third child, so expect to see all kinds of commemorative plates, teacups and dishcloths next time you visit your royalist nan.