Time’s Up CEO/ former Michelle Obama chief of staff apologizes for backing Cuomo but declines to resign

“Time’s up” CEO Tina Tchen has apologized for backing disgraced NY Governor Andrew Cuomo but is refusing to resign. Tchen is the former Chief of staff for Michelle Obama.

The victim advocacy group led by Tchen played a role in drafting a letter for Cuomo denying Lindsey Boylan’s allegations against him.

Tchen wrote in a letter on the Time’s Up website:

To the survivors in our organization, the TIME’S UP network, and throughout our community…

I am sorry. As someone working to combat sexual harassment and sexual violence, support survivors, and advance gender equity, the last thing I want any of my actions to do is to cause added pain or harm to survivors. And yet, I now know that some of my actions have done just that. For that I am profoundly sorry.

I also know that the news and events of the past week hurt, triggered, and disappointed many of you. TIME’S UP was born because survivors decided that enough was enough and exposed the pervasiveness of long-standing, hidden sexual harassment and abuse in the work place. Combatting sexual harassment and abuse and building safe, fair, and dignified workplaces so that it doesn’t happen in the first place remains our mission. Realizing that, in pursuit of that mission, we have caused harm to the very community at the core of our founding is deeply disturbing, and I see and own these mistakes, now and in the past.

One of the ways TIME’S UP has tried to contribute to the movement to end sexual violence is to work with public policy makers and corporate employers to advance the needs of survivors and workers. This is why, in 2019, TIME’S UP worked with the New York Governor’s office to ensure the passage of the New York Safety Agenda, legislation that has enacted major improvements in the state laws on sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. When our then-Board Chair Robbie Kaplan contacted me about actions in Cuomo’s office, I responded believing that, as they had been in the past, his office was interested in doing the right thing for women. The facts revealed in the Attorney General’s findings — that the letter was drafted by Cuomo as part of an ongoing effort to undermine the survivors — were completely unknown to me until the investigation’s report was released. I would never participate in or condone, in any way, such an attack or strategy.

Cuomo accusers Lindsey Boylan tweeted in response to Tchen’s apology.

You can start by resigning, @TinaTchen. So too should any employees engaged in silencing & diminishing survivors.

No trust can be built from this place.

@TIMESUPNOW should take a cold hard look at their benefactors and ask themselves if the real cost is worth the support.