At least six co-founding members of Time’s Up Healthcare have resigned in protest of how the group has responded to accusations in a lawsuit that another co-founder helped cover for a sexual harasser at her hospital in Oregon.
The resignations, which began on Thursday and continued Friday, come five days after the Oregonian reported on a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed against Jason Campbell, a physician who became famous in 2020 as the so-called “TikTok doctor” due to his viral dance videos.
The suit accuses Campbell of sexually abusing a co-worker, including inappropriate touching and sending pornographic images and sexualized texts. The suit also names Oregon Health & Science University, where both of them worked, as a defendant. According to the Oregonian, OHSU investigated accusations in August 2020 and recommended Campbell receive “appropriate” punishment; it didn’t specify what action the hospital should take. OHSU says he was dismissed in October and had been removed from regular duties in April after complaints were first received.
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The lawsuit accuses OHSU managers of not taking action and of continuing to promote Campbell’s videos and public renown even after it had received complaints about his behavior. It also names Dr. Esther Choo, a founding member of Time’s Up Healthcare, who works as an emergency medicine doctor at OHSU, as one of the officials who did so.
Choo is not a defendant in the case, however.
Time’s Up did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap, but a spokesperson for Choo told The Daily Beast “documentary evidence will be presented that will paint a picture of Esther’s conduct that is completely different from what has been reported in the press,” if the case goes to court.
Me Too Healthcare did not issue a statement until Thursday and according to The Daily Beast it elided Choo’s involvement. According to Stat News, the extended silence of Me Too Healthcare about the lawsuit and conflicts behind the scenes since the news was reported, led to the layoffs.
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Several of the women who resigned said as much in statements.
“Earlier today I resigned from @TIMESUPHC. I disagree with the narrative that making no meaningful statement helps to center the story on survivors. Instead, it only generates more distractions from her story. I remain passionate and committed to the fight to end harassment,” Dr. Angela Lawson said.
“I joined the organization because it was founded on principles that aligned with my own core values. Unfortunately, despite many of our best attempts over the past week, I fear our paths have diverged,” Dr. Jessi Gold said.
“I could not stay with an organization that chose to tweet about an initiative related to the glitzy Golden Globes (3/1) rather than about supporting survivors in the wake of the TikTokDoc report,” Dr. Joannie Yeh said.
See some of the statements below.
Today, I parted ways with TUHC. I remain committed to the hard work of creating safe, equitable and inclusive clinical and learning environments and supporting survivors. #MedTwitter #Istandwithsurvivors pic.twitter.com/tv9qjQ9Y23
— Vinny Arora MD MAPP (@FutureDocs) March 6, 2021
I told you my words were coming.
Thank you for bearing with me and giving me the time I needed to put them together.#TIMESUP #TIMESUPHC #BelieveSurvivors pic.twitter.com/9OWDTl6kfv
— Jessi Gold MD MS (@drjessigold) March 5, 2021
Earlier today I resigned from @TIMESUPHC. I disagree with the narrative that making no meaningful statement helps to center the story on survivors. Instead, it only generates more distractions from her story. I remain passionate and committed to the fight to end harassment. https://t.co/G4MkqICHBM
— Angela Lawson, PhD (@DrAngelaLawson) March 5, 2021
Leaving @TIMESUPHC @pringlmillermd @arghavan_salles @mclemoremr @DrAngelaLawson pic.twitter.com/M3ifAJfMh4
— Lynn E. Fiellin, M.D. (@LFiellin) March 5, 2021