Ex-Michelle Obama chief Tina Tchen resigns from Time's Up amid Cuomo scandal

“Now is the time for Time’s Up to evolve and move forward as there is so much more work to do for women,” Tina Tchen, the president of Time’s Up, said in a statement. “It is clear that I am not the leader who can accomplish that in this moment. I am especially aware that my position at the helm of Time’s Up has become a painful and divisive focal point, where those very women and other activists who should be working together to fight for change are instead battling each other in harmful ways.”

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Time’s Up had consulted with Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, about a letter intended to question the credibility of Lindsey Boylan, who was one of the several women who accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct. 

“I deeply regret that survivors, who have already endured a great deal, feel let down and betrayed. That was not my intention,” Tchen told the Washington Post earlier this week. 

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Tchen is a former Chicago corporate lawyer who served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff and has led the advocacy group Time’s Up since 2019.

Allison Turkos, a sexual assault survivor who organized a letter calling for an investigation into Tchen earlier this month, responded to the resignation by suggesting more needs to be done. 

“The problems at Time’s Up are deeper than Tina Tchen,” Turkos said. “They’re systemic. They go beyond her. In her statement there is no acknowledgement of changed behavior and no movement toward repair. In her statement, Tina says we are battling each other in harmful ways. She could have taken that space for self-reflection, and yet what she opted to do was to go after the very community that is attempting to make this movement better.”

Gov. Cuomo resigned from office in response to the sexual harassment scandal and served his last day as governor on August 24. 

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