Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen told colleagues to “stand down” after they planned to support former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first accuser, The Washington Post reports.
Text messages show that Tchen told colleagues to “stand down” when they planned to release a statement backing Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who accused him of sexual harassment after two people from the group discussed the matter with top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa.
A day earlier, then-Time’s Up Chairwoman Roberta Kaplan advised DeRosa on the administration’s planned response to Boylan’s allegation.
Tchen tried to pressure DeRosa to launch an internal investigation into the “workplace culture” in Cuomo’s office but that plan was shot down after DeRosa and Kaplan argued such a probe would lack credibility.
Tchen was previously mentioned as helping to advice the administration on its response to Boylan in a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Kaplan has since resigned from the group.
Time’s Up launches probe:
The group’s board of directors told the Post that it is committed “to an independent review of our past actions, our current work as well as developing the processes and improvements necessary for furthering our mission.” They promised to make the results of that review public.
Tchen issued a statement apologizing.
“On the events from December 2020, we have a policy of not commenting on self-reported statements. We did discuss deviating from that policy, given a request for comment from Fox News,” she said. “We also suggested that the Governor’s office respond by doing a review of their workplace culture. Ultimately, we decided not to comment given our policy, but in so doing did not intend to silence Ms. Boylan or any survivor. I deeply regret that survivors, who have already endured a great deal, feel let down and betrayed. That was not my intention.”
Human Rights Campaign probe:
The Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest LBGTQ advocacy organizations, also came under scrutiny after President Alphonso David was cited in the AG’s report as helping Cuomo’s team manage the fallout of the allegation.
HRC said it has launched an independent investigation to consider whether “David's actions aligned with HRC's mission and values, as well as with professional and ethics standards.”
"This investigation will in no way hinder the organizations’ continued pursuit of the critical work necessary to bring equity and liberation to the LGBTQ+ Community," the group said.