Time’s UP CEO Tina Tchen on Sunday tried to quell mounting criticism and scrutiny following revelations in a lengthy exposé in the New York Times about conflicts of interest within the organization.
“While we may not agree with every assertion made by the publication, we respect journalism as one of the many ways organizations working to advance systemic change are held accountable by their communities,” Tchen wrote in a series of tweets. “We see this reporting as an opportunity to glean more insights and feedback from those who have been impacted by our organization, and we value hearing from those with varying opinions across our vast community.”
She noted that the organization, founded in 2018 at the height of the #MeToo movement, has announced plans to hire “an outside, independent expert” to lead a restructuring of the group with “input from survivors, supporters, critics and partners.”
“As we move forward, we will continue in our work to contend with longstanding, entrenched patriarchy, in ways that are informed by those who are the closest to those harms,” Tchen continued. “We’re committed to rebuilding trust and leading responsibly in ways that honor and center the very people we want to serve. We will have more to share in the coming days.”
Tchen’s statement comes one day after the New York Times Saturday reported that the organization’s survival was privately being questioned by some board members following the reveal that several top Time’s Up leaders, including Tchen, had advised New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he faced multiple sexual harassment accusations that led to his abrupt resignation earlier this month.
Tchen and Time’s Up chairwoman Roberta Kaplan were named in an open letter to the advocacy organization from a group of survivors, saying it is “failing the survivor community.” Kaplan represented former top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa as New York Attorney General Letitia James looked into the accusations of misconduct against the governor. James’ report found Cuomo harassed at least 11 women. Kaplan subsequently resigned.
Following Kaplan’s resignation, several survivors of sexual harassment told TheWrap that the organization had not gone far not enough to repair the organization, which they say has not only been tainted by the Cuomo connection but has gotten distracted by non-harassment-related issues like racial equity at the Golden Globes and even Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over profit participation on “Black Widow.”