Eva Longoria, Shonda Rhimes and Jurnee Smollett announced Saturday that they were exiting as board members of the embattled nonprofit Time’s Up — joining all but four of current board members stepping down from the organization.
“Time’s Up is ready for new leadership, and we want to move forcefully toward its new iteration,” said exiting board members Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoris, Jurnee Smollett, Christy Haubegger, Hilary Rosen, Michelle Kydd, Katie McGrath and Nina Shaw, in a statement posted online Saturday. “We have strong faith in the talent and dedication of our interim CEO Monifa Bandele as a leader.”
“It cannot go unnoticed that this announcement from Time’s Up was made in the shadows of a Friday night, before a holiday weekend,” Alison Turkos, a survivor who authored a letter signed by 145 others in August demanding that Time’s Up reexamine its mission, told TheWrap Saturday evening. “Transparency is key and it is what the survivor community has been asking for from the beginning. Our letter clearly states this. Gatekeeping helps no one. The survivor community looks forward to being an active participant in this new iteration of Time’s Up. As the disability justice community taught us, nothing about us without us.”
Last week, Bandele was named to replace Tina Tchen, a former Obama adviser who stepped down under fire.
“To mark the establishment of a new Time’s Up, the organization will have a new and reconstituted board,” the statement continued. “To that end, the members of the existing board will be stepping aside over the next 30 days, giving our CEO the ability to refocus the organization’s leadership to suit its mission and needs. As we do so, we commit to making sure Time’s Up has sufficient financial resources to do its important work.”
Despite the mass resignation, four existing board members — Colleen DeCourcy, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Ashley Judd and Gabrielle Sulzberger — are remaining to help insure a smooth transition.
The nonprofit group, which was created three years ago to protect and support survivors of sexual assault amid the growing #MeToo era, has been besieged over the past month since it was revealed that its leadership had been working with ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to mitigate accusations of sexual misconduct against him. The revelations led to the resignations last month of board chairwoman Roberta Kaplan and CEO Tina Tchen.
Bandele, previously the group’s chief operating officer, has been tasked with building back up the organization, which has been harshly criticized for prioritizing its connections with powerful people rather than the well-being of survivors.
As TheWrap previously reported, many have questioned if the organization that was created in 2018 by a focused group of powerful women in entertainment, media and politics would be able to create change, or if it was destined to be co-opted by the very systems their stated aim was to disrupt.
Others have also complained about the group’s increased advocacy in non-MeToo issues, including public statements about racial equity at the Golden Globes and Scarlett Johansson’s contract dispute with Disney over “Black Widow.”