Time’s Up CEO and President Tina Tchen said in a statement that she had “spent a career fighting for positive change for women,” but was no longer the right person to lead the business. organization of the #MeToo era. “I am particularly aware that my position as the head of Time’s Up has become a painful and divisive focal point, where these same women and other activists who should be working together to fight for change are instead fighting each other in detrimental ways. She said. wrote.
Group COO Monifa Bandele will assume the role of interim CEO.
Tchen’s resignation follows the departure of Roberta Kaplan, who stepped down as chairman of the board on August 9. The two women had been the butt of the anger of Time’s Up supporters at the idea that they had offered help to Cuomo. , who resigned Monday three weeks after an investigation overseen by the New York attorney general found he had sexually harassed at least 11 women.
The report details Cuomo’s attempt to discredit his first public accuser, Lindsey Boylan, after she accused him last December of making inappropriate comments, but before she explicitly details the allegations of touching and unwanted kisses.
Text messages obtained by the Washington Post show that Tchen initially discouraged other Time’s Up executives from making public comments on Boylan’s allegations. Later, Cuomo’s main aide, Melissa DeRosa, asked Kaplan – his lawyer – to review a letter the governor’s supporters intended to circulate attacking Boylan’s credibility.
“Ms Kaplan read the letter to the head of the Times Up advocacy group, and both are said to have suggested that, without the statements about Ms Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” the report said, without naming. explicitly Chen.
The letter was ultimately never published.
Later, after Boylan developed his allegations against Cuomo, Time’s Up called for an investigation.
Boylan noted Thursday that Chen’s resignation statement did not include an apology.
“It’s sad that @TinaTchen still can’t take responsibility for the harm she’s caused,” Boylan tweeted. This sentiment was echoed by another Cuomo accuser, Charlotte Bennett.
“Instead of offering a heartfelt apology to the survivors, activists and allies she has injured, @TinaTchen is speaking the same way our former governor did – listing her accomplishments, pointing fingers at others and trying to justify his inexcusable behavior. Good riddance. ”
Tchen declined to comment further.
The origins of Time’s Up
Time’s Up began in January 2018 amid outrage over the sexual misconduct of film producer Harvey Weinstein. More than 300 women in the entertainment business -om television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes to actresses Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria – have signed an open letter establishing them as founders.
Its high-profile debut continued with that month’s Golden Globes, in which attendees donned black lapel pins and sported Time’s Up to draw attention to the gender equality movement.
Tchen previously served as assistant to US President Barack Obama, chief of staff to his wife Michelle Obama, and executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. She co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in 2017, along with Kaplan and two other women. The fund was created to help everyday survivors cover legal fees and has raised nearly US $ 22 million within a year of its inception.
In a statement Thursday, the board of directors of Time’s Up praised Tchen’s tenure, saying she “has made a difference in the lives of so many people and we are grateful for her hard work and impact.” But accepting his resignation was a measure of responsibility, the board said.
This is not the first time the rights group has been troubled by leadership issues. Tchen took the helm in 2019, after former WNBA president Lisa Borders resigned as president and CEO following allegations of sexual misconduct against her own son.
Tarana Burke, founder of #MeToo and an extended board member of Time’s Up, offered her take on the troubled waters earlier this week to The Associated Press. She described Time’s Up as a young organization with good intentions that is now grappling with how to wield power.
“I think they have to do a lot of soul searching and at the end of the day,” she said. “They may have to figure out how to work differently, they may have to relinquish some of the power, and they may have to sacrifice some of the victories to do the job well, in the way people trust. “