Time’s Up Disbands Entire Board in the Wake of Cuomo Backlash

The announcement follows a string of resignations, raising existential questions for the group

Time’s Up Disbands Entire Board in the Wake of Cuomo Backlash
Photo:Valerie Macon/AFP (Getty Images)

Time’s Up is disbanding its board of directors following a wave of backlash the group has faced as a result of its leaders advising Andrew Cuomo on how to handle the sexual misconduct claims against him.

The organization made the announcement on Friday, later releasing a statement asserting that the group is “ready for new leadership.” The statement—written by the outgoing board of directors—makes mention of the “current crisis,” but avoids detailing the exact allegations facing the nonprofit.

“TIME’S UP belongs to all women,” the board wrote. “Its mission must continue–until we live in a world in which no woman ever needs to say #timesup again.”

The shake-up follows a string of resignations at Time’s Up over the last month, which have raised questions about the future of the organization as well as the sincerity of its mission. After New York State Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation revealed that two of the group’s founding members had helped the Cuomo administration draft an op-ed designed to discredit one of his accusers, Roberta Kaplan and Tina Tchen—the founding members in question–both stepped down. Kaplan announced her departure mere days after the report’s release, while Tchen held on until a little more than a week ago.

Since then, Time’s Up has named Monifa Bandele, a grassroots organizer who most recently led MomsRising, as its interim CEO. According to the group’s latest statement, a new board will be assembled once Bandele has overseen a “comprehensive assessment of the organization, in collaboration with an outside consultant”—one of the demands included in an open letter signed by 145 survivors last month. Four members of the old board will stay on for a period of time, however, “to help ensure a smooth transition.”

Though Time’s Up is loath to put it in more explicit terms, it would seem its leaders have realized by now that the criticism they face is existential in nature. But survivors have already hinted that it will require more than an organizational reshuffle to reassure them that the group serves their interests. August’s open letter from survivors included demands beyond the internal investigation, calling for a “survivor-led vetting process” for Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund lawyers and the creation of a Survivor Advisory Council as well.

“Survivors are so often let down by the system of justice in this country, and it is heartbreaking to see that TIME’S UP has become a willing participant in that never-ending labyrinth,” the letter reads. “The pattern of your behavior shows you do not deserve our trust any longer without serious structural changes. TIME’S UP has lost its way.”

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