Time’s Up has responded after an investigation from New York Attorney General Letitia James reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office asked the organization’s chief, Tina Tchen, for guidance as they weighed a public response to sexual harassment allegations leveled by a former Cuomo aide, Lindsay Boylan.

“Before any allegations were made against Governor Cuomo, in 2019, Time’s Up worked with his administration to pass the Time’s Up/NY Safety Agenda. In December 2020, Tina was asked to give her perspective on a public response to Ms. Boylan’s allegations,” a spokesperson for Time’s Up told The Hollywood Reporter. “Although Tina made no recommendations as to what he should do, she shared the stance Time’s Up has always taken in these matters. She was clear that any response coming from the Governor’s office addressing the allegations would be insufficient and unacceptable if it did not acknowledge the experiences of the women who came forward, and that it should in no way shame or discredit the women.”

According to the report from Attorney General James, Cuomo asked an aide to send a letter meant to rebut claims of sexual harassment to an attorney, Roberta Kaplan.

“Ms. Kaplan read the letter to the head of the advocacy group Times Up [sic], and both of them allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” according to page 109 of the report. “Ms. DeRosa reported back to the Governor that Ms. Kaplan and the head of Times Up thought the letter was okay with some changes, as did [Cuomo ally Steven] Cohen, but everyone else thought it was a bad idea.”

Time’s Up released a public statement regarding the AG report earlier on Tuesday, saying “we acknowledge and deeply respect the courage and sacrifice of the 11 women who came forward to share their experiences of harassment and the retaliation they endured.”

“Demanding accountability and justice from someone in power is never easy and it comes at great risk but, by boldly coming forward, these women have given others the courage to do the same,” the statement continued, adding that Cuomo should resign.

The organization had worked closely with the Cuomo administration in late 2019 to pass the “Time’s Up New York Safety Agenda” into law, which extended the statute of limitations for survivors of second- and third-degree rape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *