Time’s Up President Tina Tchen on Monday acknowledged the “lack of trust” survivors have in the organization after its chairwoman, Roberta Kaplan, stepped down following outcry over her work advising Gov. Andrew Cuomo amid accusations of sexual harassment against him.
“We’ve worked to hold power accountable in board rooms, in the halls of government, and in organizations big and small, and we have felt uniquely capable of doing so because many of us have worked in those very institutions. We have never felt co-opted by that experience, only informed by it to try new strategies. And we are proud of that work and the change we have achieved. Yet, we recognize that this work has sometimes resulted in a lack of trust from the broader survivor community we serve and to which we also belong. We are looking within,” Tchen said in a statement along with the advocacy organization’s board.
They added that Kaplan’s resignation was “the right and appropriate thing to do.” The statement went on, “Our staff does incredible work and contributes to change every day. So we are counting on our sisters and allies not to lose sight of the broader work and let a man’s treachery be overshadowed in any way. We do not ask for a pass. We ask for perspective.”
Earlier Monday, Kaplan resigned following outcry over the revelation that she represented former top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ independent probe into the accusations against Cuomo. Last week, James announced that her office had found Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Also on Monday, survivors wrote an open letter to Time’s Up accusing the group of “failing the survivor community.”
“We write to you as a collective group of survivors and victims who believe Time’s Up is failing the survivor community. We believed in your mission and hoped that your investment in eradicating sexual assault and harassment in the workplace would change the tide to support us as we came forward, but we are disappointed,” says the letter posted on Medium.