After #MeToo went viral, Hollywood rushed out #TimesUp, its response to the movement to change the subject with some girl power rhetoric.
Ever since then, #TimesUp has exceeded expectations by being even more terrible than anything I could have predicted back when I first took it on. The implosion is its own epic expose of industry corruption and hypocrisy that is almost too staggering to believe.
First #TimesUp’s CEO had to quit.
Lisa Borders, the CEO of Time’s Up, resigned from her post this week after following sexual assault allegations against her son, the gender equality group announced.
Borders initially cited “family concerns that require my singular focus” when she resigned.
“TIME’S UP unequivocally supports all survivors of sexual harassment and abuse,” the organization said in a statement. “On Friday, Lisa Borders informed members of TIME’S UP leadership that sexual assault allegations had been made against her son in a private forum. Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of TIME’S UP and we agreed that it was the right decision for all parties involved.”
Oprah, who was the big name in launching #TimesUp, had her own agenda.
When a documentary about the women alleging that they had been raped by Russell Simmons, a celebrity hip-hop producer who was also a pal of racist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, was close to release, Oprah Winfrey pulled out, under pressure from Simmons.
Time’s Up not only joined Oprah in refusing to support the victims, but allegedly started a whispering campaign to sabotage the documentary.
#TimesUp got an Obama makeover and that’s when it got even worse.
One of the group’s top members, Dr. Esther Choo, has been accused of silencing a woman who’s trying to report sexual harassment—and Time’s Up leadership is standing by Choo, even as at least 18 members of its sister group Time’s Up Healthcare have resigned in protest.
It all started with a $45 million federal lawsuit last month that accused Dr. Jason Campbell—known as the “TikTok Doc” for his viral dances on the platform—of sexually harassing and assaulting a coworker at Oregon Health and Science University.
Choo, who works as a professor of emergency medicine at the university, is not a defendant in the suit. But she’s accused of failing to report the alleged abuse, as required under Title IX, when the coworker told her about it in March 2020.
“I am representing Esther Choo, because she’s my friend,” said Kaplan, who’s also representing E. Jean Carroll in her defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump.
Tina Tchen, Time’s Up president and CEO, released a statement Wednesday defending Choo.
Tchen made a suggestion that she would later reiterate, in slightly different terms, in her statement: If everyone stepped back whenever they were accused of wrongdoing, there would be no one left.
Borders was replaced by Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff… when Tara Reade accused Joe Biden of sexual assault. Reade had initially reached out to people at Time’s Up only to be told that the organization legally couldn’t support her because Biden was a political candidate. President Trump was also a political candidate, but that hadn’t stopped Time’s Up from attacking him.
The same organization that recently put out a statement by Tina Tchen headlined, “Donald Trump Must Be Removed From Office”, claimed that it couldn’t speak out against Biden for legal reasons. The legal reasons were a joke, but the political ones were there for everyone to see.
Tchen managed to praise Biden for having the right response to the allegations. This wasn’t surprising as Time’s Up was populated by former Obama people, and in a glaring conflict of interest, its public relations were being handled by Biden advisor Anita Dunn. Beyond being Biden’s “decision-making authority”, Dunn had also provided advice to Harvey Weinstein.
“I actually cried a little because I felt really betrayed,” Reade had said. “They never told me that their public relations was run by Anita Dunn. I found out in real-time reading Ryan’s article. I gave them so much personal information and they say they didn’t give it to Biden. But come on. They said they had firewalls or something.”
…The Chief Strategy and Policy Officer for Time’s Up, Jennifer Klein, maxed out her donations to Biden. Klein, a former Obama and Clinton vet, has now been appointed by Biden as the co-chair of Biden’s new White House Gender Policy Council
Can it get worse? With the cutouts for a political party drowning in slime? #TimesUp boarded the Cuomo train just as it had Biden’s bus.
A report released by the New York attorney general’s office said Roberta Kaplan, the cofounder of Time’s Up, advised the Cuomo team about an op-ed the governor wrote to discredit Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo adviser who accused the governor of sexual misconduct in December 2020. A top Cuomo aide said Kaplan and Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen largely approved of the op-ed. The piece, which was never published, “denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated,” according to the attorney general’s report.
Kaplan, who also serves as legal counsel for DeRosa, has longstanding ties to Cuomo. The governor was quoted in a glowing Washington Post profile of Kaplan this year, saying she “has been indispensable in the fight against the cancer of hate and division that Trump spent four years exacerbating.” Kaplan represents E. Jean Carroll, the journalist who accused Trump of sexual assault, as well as Trump’s niece, Mary Trump.
Maybe someone can ask Mary Trump about this next time the troll is on MSNBC.
#TimesUp is several stages beyond the merely toxic. The corruption, the conflicts of interest, and the abuses make it the embodiment of the very thing it claimed to be fighting against.
But considering that it was always a puppet regime, enlisting female celebrities and executives as front ends for a system that abuses women, it will probably linger on as a grim joke. Otherwise, time’s up for #TimesUp.