Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen Resigns Amid Andrew Cuomo Backlash08/26/2021
”Now is the time for TIME’S UP to evolve and move forward as there is so much more work to do for women,“ she says
Tina Tchen, the CEO and president of Time’s Up, has resigned from the organization amid the backlash that followed after it was found that the group advised former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his sexual harassment scandal.
Tchen’s departure follows the exit of Roberta Kaplan as chairwoman. Tchen tweeted her statement on Thursday, defending the idea that organizations like Time’s Up must work with companies, government leaders and policy makers to find solutions and cannot simply “shout on the outside for change.”
But she further acknowledged that her leadership “has become a painful and divisive focal point” amid other female activists working for change and that it was time for her to step down.
“I have spent a career fighting for positive change for women And I’ve never stopped,” she said in part. “Now is the time for TIME’S UP to evolve and move forward as there is so much more work to do for women. It is clear that I am not the leader who can accomplish that in this moment.”
Time’s Up has come under fire in recent weeks when it was found in Attorney General Letitia James’ report that the group’s chairwoman Kaplan advised New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and represented a former top aide, Melissa DeRosa, in working to discredit a woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct. The report ultimately found that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women (Cuomo has denied the accusations), and Kaplan subsequently resigned from her role as chairwoman with Time’s Up.
After that initial report, an exposé in The New York Times revealed conflicts of interest within the organization and that the organization’s survival was privately being questioned by some board members. Time’s Up is still a fairly young organization, having only been founded in early 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2017.
Tchen had previously insisted she would not be resigning, and she recently addressed the “broken-trust moment” Time’s Up is facing, even as other survivors and celebrities have spoken out against the group. Shonda Rimes, who is a co-founder of the organization, for one said the idea that “Time’s Up has become viewed as a receptacle for and the focus of men trying to cover up their obscene behaviors is exhausting to me.”
Tchen had added that the group was pursuing an outside consultant to lead a restructuring of the group with “input from survivors, supporters, critics and partners.” And in a panel discussion from earlier Thursday, Tchen had said she felt as if the Cuomo administration had used Time’s Up influence as a means of “cover.”
“We clearly see how we can be used as cover. And let’s be clear – what I believe happened with the Cuomo administration was we were used as cover in ways I had no understanding of until the AG’s report happened,” Tchen said. “That’s a problem, and we can’t let that happen. Our movement cannot be used as cover for folks who are trying to actually go at survivors or others.”
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