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Time's Up Board Member Leaves Due to Cuomo Ties

Over 80 sexual harassment survivors posted an open letter to Time’s Up, an organization dedicated to supporting women in combating discrimination. In their letter, the survivors express their belief that the organization “is failing the survivor community,” “abandoned the very people it was supposed to champion,” and “prioritized its proximity to power over mission.” Roberta Kaplan and Tina Tchen’s inclusion in the New York Attorney General’s recent report regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo caused the survivors to write the letter. Tina Tchen is the head of Time’s Up; Roberta Kaplan is a founder and board member. The report noted that Kaplan reviewed a draft op-ed letter from Cuomo disparaging one of the women accusing him of sexual harassment. The survivors expressed their anger at the leaders “weaponizing their knowledge” to help Governor Cuomo, who is accused of retaliating against individuals who accused him of sexual harassment. Tchen issued a statement denying ever advising Governor Cuomo or his team, asserting she spoke only to Kaplan. The op-ed was never published.

Roberta Kaplan resigned from her position on the board on Monday, August 9th. She said her position as a practicing attorney precluded her from being able to openly answer questions about Governor Cuomo and his aide, Melissa DeRosa. The latter is Kaplan’s client. Time’s Up stated Kaplan’s resignation was “the right and appropriate thing to do.” The organization said it would make itself more accountable and transparent to the community.