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CRISIS POINT: #MeToo Organization Time’s Up Faces Reckoning Following Attempts To Shield Powerful Men From Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Robbie Kaplan speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune

Time’s Up, the organization founded after the advent of the #MeToo movement designed to help sexual misconduct accusers bring their cases forward, is facing a crisis caused by the actions of its founders and leaders. Those in charge of the organization have seemingly used it to protect politicians they support, rather than putting female accusers first.

The New York Times reported on the ongoing turmoil at the organization, highlighted most recently by revelations that two of its founders advised former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) on an unpublished op-ed smearing his most prominent accuser. Roberta Kaplan and Tina Tchen, as The Daily Wire previously reported, was named in New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ report into the sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo as having advised the governor to remove some parts of the op-ed but otherwise okayed its publication.

“[Kaplan and Tchen] allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” the report found. Kaplan and Tchen told the Times they discouraged Cuomo from disparaging the woman.

The Times also discovered that Kaplan was asked by the Cuomo administration to lead the inquiry into the allegations, which Kaplan declined. Kaplan did, however, weigh in “on one candidate to lead the investigation, told the administration it would have to be as independent as possible and provided names of potential defense lawyers,” the Times found.

Kaplan also reportedly “discussed with Ms. DeRosa what a Time’s Up public statement might say about how the investigation should be conducted.”

As the Times noted, Time’s Up eventually settled “on a weak call for Mr. Cuomo to appoint his own independent investigator.” Kaplan even sent this statement to Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa before releasing it publicly. Kaplan’s law firm is also representing DeRosa in multiple inquiries into the Cuomo administration outside of the sexual misconduct claims.

Time’s Up took a similar tactic when President Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault during the 2020 campaign. Instead of supporting his accuser, Tara Reade, Time’s Up did what it could to shield Biden. Tchen previously worked in the Obama administration and helped fundraise for Biden during the 2020 campaign. When the allegations against Biden came out, Tchen worked to keep women’s groups from releasing a letter calling on Biden to more quickly address the allegations.

As Biden stayed silent about the accusations, so did Time’s Up, the Times reported. Tchen reportedly told the groups drafting the letter to hold off, saying Biden would respond soon. A spokeswoman for Tchen told the Times she opposed the letter “because the call to action wasn’t clear enough.”

When Biden finally did speak about the allegations, denying them, Tchen praised him for his transparency. Time’s Up also that same day released a statement praising Biden’s comments. On the same day Biden denied the allegations, Tchen took part in an online Biden fundraising event. As the Times reported, people inside and outside Time’s Up questioned whether the organization was supporting Reade or Biden.

Along with Democrat politicians, another Time’s Up leader, Dr. Esther Choo, was named in a lawsuit as having advised a woman who accused a popular doctor of sexual misconduct that it was “never worth it” to report these allegations.

To fix its growing problems, Time’s Up is reportedly hiring a consultant to look at how the organization fell apart and advise them how to move forward.

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