Tina Tchen, the CEO of Time's Up, reportedly told colleagues last December they should "stand down" and not release a statement supporting the first woman to accuse then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of sexual harassment.
Text messages from December 2020 revealed a "far more extensive behind-the-scenes effort to work with Cuomo's office amid the sexual harassment charges than the group has previously acknowledged," The Washington Post reports. According to the Post, when Time's Up received an inquiry from Fox News regarding the allegations of Lindsey Boylan, who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, officials from the organization that fights sexual misconduct discussed whether to release a statement. But Tchen reportedly instructed them to "stand down." Cuomo resigned from office earlier this week after a report from New York's attorney general found he sexually harassed 11 women.
Others within Time's Up pushed for releasing a statement at the time, according to the report, with one senior adviser arguing that "our silence looks bad." But the Post describes how Tchen's call to "stand down" came after "two people connected to the group spoke with" Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa. Roberta Kaplan, who was then the chair of Time's Up, was reportedly briefed by DeRosa about how the governor would respond to the allegations, and according to the Post, Kaplan subsequently shared this with Tchen. Kaplan resigned from Time's Up earlier this month after revelations she reviewed a draft of a letter disparaging Boylan.
In a statement to the Post, Tchen said that in December 2020, the group "decided not to comment given our policy" of "not commenting on self-reported statements" but that Time's Up "did not intend to silence Ms. Boylan or any survivor." Tchen added, "I deeply regret that survivors, who have already endured a great deal, feel let down and betrayed." Boylan has called for Tchen to resign from Time's Up.