Time’s up for Time’s Up.
The national group that is supposed to help sexual harassment victims is cleaning house after it was revealed its top officers advised disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo when an ex-staffer accused him of sexual misconduct.
In a stunning move, the board of directors announced Friday that it is firing nearly its entire 25-member staff and rebuilding the discredited organization from scratch.
In August, both Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen and chairwoman Roberta Kaplan stepped down after it was revealed they were advising Cuomo’s team after former staffer Lindsey Boylan accused him of sexual harassment in December, 2020
Tchen told her colleagues to “stand down” from a plan to release a public statement supporting Boylan, according to text messages. The texts came after two people in the organization spoke to top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa.
DeRosa told investigators that Kaplan had reviewed a draft letter aimed at undermining accuser Boylan.
A damning investigative report by state Attorney General Letitia James’ office concluded that Cuomo harassed or mistreated 11 women, including current and former staffers and even a state trooper assigned to his security detail. Cuomo resigned in August under the threat of impeachment.
Time’s Up’s offering of assistance to Cuomo behind the scenes in the AG’s report provoked an embarrassing backlash against a women’s rights organization founded by Hollywood bigwigs after the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal and whose board members include actress Ashley Judd.
Time’s Up announced a “major reset” and an overhaul “from the ground up” following a review of its operations by an independent consultant.
Interim president and CEO Monifa Bandele will step down and most of the staff is being terminated amid the rebuild.
“This is a needed reset, not a retreat.” said Board Chair Gabrielle Sulzberger in a statement.
“TIME’S UP stands for accountability and systematic change in the workplace. It is incumbent on us to learn from these findings, and focus on building an organization that powerfully serves women of all kinds and ends the impunity of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.”
Time’s UP current programmatic operations will end January 1, 2022 and terminated staff will receive severance through March 1, 2022.
“We persevere. We will not lose the ground gained for women’s equality and safety over these last several years,” Bandele said.
“Our movement and the stakes for our entire society and future generations are so much bigger than one organization or title. We will continue to make significant contributions, both through work led by TIME’S UP and beyond.”
The massive shake-up was first reported by The Washington Post.