Time’s Up, the advocacy group meant to fight workplace sexual misconduct, has been blasted by Megyn Kelly and others following a report that the organization’s leaders chose not to support an Andrew Cuomo accuser.
Top brass at the Time’s Up group decided after some deliberation not to issue a statement of public support for Lindsay Boylan, who in December went public with accusations of sexual harassment against her former boss, then-New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who has denied the accusations.
According to a Washington Post report citing text message exchanges and sources familiar with the situation, the decision to not support Boylan came after the group’s leaders consulted with top Cuomo advisor Melissa DeRosa.
After the meeting, Time’s Up chief executive Tina Tchen reportedly told others in the group to “stand down” on any plans to support Boylan, whose accusations were accompanied by numerous others against Cuomo. He was eventually forced to resign from office.
As part of the consultation with DeRosa, the group also got a glimpse at Cuomo’s response to Boylan’s accusations and they in turn showed DeRosa their planned statement of support.
“This group (Times Up) so grossly and cravenly BETRAYED @LindseyBoylan (among many other women),” former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tweeted on Thursday in response to the revealing report.
She went on to recommend no one call or seek help from the group, which was borne out the #MeToo movement with the promise of bringing equality to workplaces.
This group (Times Up) so grossly and cravenly BETRAYED @LindseyBoylan (among many other women). They should never be portrayed as advocates of harassment victims in any publication again. Don’t donate, don’t seek their help. They are power-seekers. That’s all. https://t.co/8N0nTPQpZU— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) August 26, 2021
Other frequent Cuomo critics took to social media to express equal outrage and to call out some of the numerous liberal celebrities who show public support for the group.
The Time’s Up board of directors has responded to reports by promising an “internal review” of the group’s “past actions,” though this is far from the first time it has been accused of being motivated by politics, even in the Cuomo drama.
An investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James had already found that DeRosa had held discussions with the then-chair of Time’s Up, Roberta Kaplan, about the Boylan accusations and the best response to them. Kaplan resigned from the group on August 9 after James’ report stirred up outrage with activists.
Tchen has meanwhile apologized for herself and others for not doing enough to support Boylan, claiming that the group suggested “a review” of Cuomo’s workplace culture when the Boylan accusations came to light. She added that the group has a policy of not commenting on “self-reported statements.”
“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,” she said in a statement this week.
In the alleged text message exchanges about the group’s response though, Tchen says, “the story is all over the place with this survivor.” She now claimed in response to the Post report that she simply meant the story was receiving lots of media coverage.
“I was not saying I disbelieved Lindsey,” she said.
The Time’s Up organization faced accusations of political bias in the past when it similarly declined to support accuser Tara Reade against Joe Biden, the current president and a man she has accused publicly of sexual assault for years. The organization reportedly told Reade they could not help any effort to expose Biden’s alleged actions as it could jeopardize its tax-exempt status.
Following Biden denying any wrongdoing in May of last year, Time’s Up praised the then-presidential candidate for addressing “the allegation against him with the seriousness it deserves,” while fitting in a quick dig at then-president Donald Trump, saying he has “never done the same” as his Democrat opponent.
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