Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up — an advocacy group for survivors of workplace sexual harassment — resigned Thursday amid backlash over her ties to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who recently resigned after being found to have sexually harassed staff.
“My position at the helm of Time’s Up has become a painful and divisive focal point,” Tchen wrote in a statement posted on Twitter, adding that women and activists who “should be working together” are “instead battling each other.” “Therefore it is time for me to resign and continue to work for change in other ways.”
Earlier this month, a report by the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James (D) found that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 current and former female employees. The report also accused Tchen of reviewing an unpublished opinion piece meant to disparage Lindsey Boylan, one of Cuomo’s accusers.
Tchen has admitted to advising the governor’s office to conduct “a review of their workplace culture” in response to Boylan’s accusations. She apologized, saying: “I deeply regret that survivors, who have already endured a great deal, feel let down and betrayed.”
Earlier this month, the chair of Time’s Up, Roberta Kaplan, also resigned from the group after the state AG’s report accused her of consulting with Cuomo advisers about responding to Boylan’s accusations.
After the results of James’ investigation were made known, a group of sexual assault survivors and activists published an open letter on Medium that accused Time’s Up of “failing the survivor community,” citing Tchen and Kaplan by name.
Cuomo formally ended his term on Monday, after public calls for him to resign intensified following the release of James’ report. Earlier this year, several women, including former aides, came forward with claims of sexual harassment against the governor.
Cuomo has continued to deny that he committed any meaningful wrongdoing.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.