Last month, a report from the New York attorney general’s office found that the Time’s Up CEO and leader Tina Tchen aimed to advise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his sexual harassment allegations. Tchen particularly helped Cuomo discredit Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who’d accused the governor of sexually harassing her. While Time’s Up has pledged to fight against sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace, it has clearly prioritized protecting the politically powerful than helping sexual misconduct survivors.
The attorney general’s report found that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and was advised by CEO Tchen and co-founder Roberta Kaplan on how to handle the wave of allegations. Multiple clients and staffers from the Hollywood celebrity-backed group have called out the leaders for betraying the group’s value.
More than 130 survivors, clients, and staffers signed an open letter to the organization, demanding structural reform and a third-party investigation into how staffers and board members are approached by outsiders. The letter details how the organization lost its way, as well as the staffers’ struggles to navigate the group leaders’ loyalty to powerful and problematic allies.
Nearly the entire Time’s Up board resigned after finding that their group leaders helped Cuomo “weather his sexual harassment storm.” The members who left include Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria, Jurnee Smollett, Katie McGrath, Christy Haubegger, Hilary Rosen, Michelle Kydd, and Time’s Up interim board chair Nina Shaw.
Colleen DeCourcy, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Ashley Judd, and Gabrielle Sulzberger said they would remain on the board to ensure a “smooth transition.” The remaining members would step down in the next thirty days after the new board has been seated.
“Time’s Up was created to support the goal of safe, fair, dignified work for all women. It is crucial to us as a board that the organization remain in service to this seismic, global work to demand equity and disrupt systems that foster discrimination, harassment, and abuse. We see the current crisis within TIME’S UP as an important opportunity for growth and change,” the group said in a statement.
Some members have remained “cautiously hopeful” throughout the transition, including leader Alison Turkos. She said she hopes these resignations are a “step in the right direction” as survivors are waiting to hear the company’s concrete plans and how the organization will plan to repair the harm. Turkos went on to say that the timing of the announcement felt “suspect” as it was posted on a late Friday night over the holiday weekend. She said it doesn’t feel like they were “proudly” stepping into a new direction and that it seemed the organization was doing this in the shadows.
Time’s Up has abandoned the very people it promised to champion and support. It has refused to hold powerful abusers accountable and has, instead, exchanged leadership and vision for political preference and power. The detailed AG reports that Kaplan and Tchen even “weaponized” their knowledge of the survivors’ experiences to help the governor retaliate against nearly a dozen women. The Time’s Up leaders have continued to align themselves with the abusers at the expense of survivors and become a “willing participant” in perpetuators of harm.
The foundation of the Hollywood-funded #MeToo movement was made to falsely accuse and go after Conservative men. The hypocrisy proves it as leaders did not only turn a blind eye to corrupt and democratic men but actually help them retaliate against accusers along the way. Lying is the only value Democrats have.