Time's Up CEO Resigns Over Cuomo Scandal

Posted: Aug 26, 2021 9:00 PM
Time's Up CEO Resigns Over Cuomo Scandal

Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) isn't the only one to have resigned as a result of his sexual misconduct. As Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey with The Washington Post reported on Thursday, Tina Tchen, the president and CEO of Time's Up, told her staff earlier that day that she will resign. The group's co-founder, Roberta Kaplan, had resigned earlier this month, as Reagan reported.

Kaplan's resignation was hardly the end of the story, though. 

As Scherer and Dawsey wrote:

Tchen has apologized profusely and repeatedly for the pain her actions have caused sexual abuse survivors because of her role in the Cuomo administration’s efforts to deflect accusations of sexual harassment. The attorney general reported this month that Kaplan had spoken with Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, about a letter intended to undermine Boylan. Kaplan, who resigned from the Time’s Up board weeks ago, had read the letter to Tchen at the time, investigators found.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Time’s Up’s contacts with DeRosa at the time were more extensive than the James report found. Kaplan spoke with DeRosa about Cuomo’s first response to Boylan’s allegations, and relayed those conversations to Tchen. Tchen also launched a separate effort at the time to get Cuomo to launch a review of his workplace culture. She also decided against releasing a planned statement supporting Boylan after objections from the organization.

Their reporting, using Tchen's own words, also shows she still tried to frame the situation to her liking:

Following her resignation, Tchen said she would “continue to work for change in other ways.” She noted that she had spent her career fighting for positive change for women.

In recent days, Tchen has framed the crisis at the organization as a structural tension between two different missions.

“We tried to do two things, which is to hold powerful people accountable when that needs to happen, but then also to work with them to make things better,” Tchen said in an interview with the Skimm, published Thursday.

She said the challenge for Time’s Up in the future would be to figure out how to fulfill both of those missions better, without taking actions that “lead survivors to question us or feel as though we have betrayed them, which is never something that we wanted to do.”

“We clearly see how we could be used as cover,” Tchen added. “And let’s be clear, what I believe happened with the Cuomo administration is we were used as cover in ways I had no understanding of until the AG’s report.”

Tchen's Thursday resignation comes soon after another report from Scherer and Dawsey that Tchen texted her colleagues to "stand down" when it came to supporting Boylan following her accusations against Cuomo.

Last week, a lengthy report from The New York Times, which was also updated, revealed that "Turmoil Was Brewing at Time’s Up Long Before Cuomo." Tchen can be seen in the background of the featured image used in the piece, which was of then Gov. Cuomo signing a bill in 2019 increasing the statute of limitations in rape case.

Tchen responded to that report over Twitter soon after.

Monica Bandelee will take over as interim CEO. She has been the COO.