Time's Up president apologizes for backing Cuomo but declines to resign, claiming 'we were used as cover'
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Time’s Up president and CEO Tina Tchen apologized for her past support of outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but unlike the disgraced Democrat she will not be resigning from her post.
In a lengthy message posted on the organization’s website, Tchen said she was “sorry” after the New York attorney general’s report on Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment showed that Tchen’s Time’s Up co-founder Roberta Kaplan helped Cuomo’s office draft a letter that called into question the allegations and credibility of Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of harassment. The report said that, according to Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, Kaplan read the letter to Tchen and both women approved a modified version of it.
“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,” Tchen wrote. “I would never participate in or condone, in any way, such an attack or strategy.”
“I believe we were used as cover for heinous actions going on behind the scenes and, more recently, being used to distract and distort the actual legal and moral violations that occurred,” she continued. “But that in no way excuses my oversight and mistakes in failing to protect survivors and our work, and I recognize that similar scenarios may have played out in the past that I failed to see for what they were.”
Kaplan resigned from her role with the organization following the report’s revelation, and now Boylan is calling for Tchen to do the same. In a tweet responding to Tchen’s post, which called on supporters to let Time’s Up know how they can do better, Boylan bluntly offered her own suggestion.
“You can start by resigning, @TinaTchen. So too should any employees engaged in silencing & diminishing survivors,” she said. While Tchen vowed to put in the work needed to regain people’s trust, Boylan asserted that “[n]o trust can be built from this place.”
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