After a dramatic launch at the 2018 Golden Globes in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the so-called “gender rights” organization Time’s Up raked in over $22 million from many of Hollywood’s most prominent names such as Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Shonda Rhimes, and Reese Witherspoon. Just five years later, Time’s Up is now officially closing its doors after the group was revealed to be nothing more than another partisan operation that opted to protect Democrats from the very type of sexual assault and workplace inequality allegations they claimed to be fighting against. Unsurprisingly, the celebrities who enthusiastically backed the legal fund are radio silent.
“Time’s Up will formally cease its operations by the end of January and direct its remaining $1.7 million in funds to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund (TULDF),” The Hollywood Reporter reported this week.
Time’s Up first revealed its partisan bias during Joe Biden’s presidential campaign when former Senate staffer Tara Reade came forward accusing a married Sen. Biden of pushing her against a wall, kissing her, and forcibly penetrating her with his fingers under her skirt in 1993. Although the organization claimed Reade’s allegations should not “go ignored,” it was later discovered that its own public relations firm, SKDKnickerbocker, was headed by Anita Dunn, a top Biden campaign strategist.
Dunn was also reported to have previously given Weinstein “damage control advice.” The irony — that Time’s Up was created in response to the Weinstein allegations as an effort to stop and prosecute other predators — is lost on no one.
“I actually cried a little because I felt really betrayed,” Reade told Law & Crime at the time. “They never told me that their public relations was run by Anita Dunn. I found out in real-time reading Ryan [Grim]’s article.”
“From my perspective: the payments look like a way to silence me further from getting my story heard,” Reade said of the conflicting interests between SKDKnickerbocker and Biden’s campaign.
It wasn’t that they were staying out of politics. Time’s Up was of course proud to take bold stands against politicians such as Donald Trump and figures like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, over whom it organized a “national walk-out” based on the thinnest of allegations.
But Time’s Up’s silence on Biden and other Democrats such as Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax would be small potatoes compared to revelations found in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ 2021 report that Time’s Up chief, Tina Tchen, and TULDF co-founder Roberta Kaplan were asked by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office for guidance on how to respond to sexual harassment allegations brought by a former Cuomo aide, Lindsey Boylan.
Kaplan resigned from the Time’s Up board after the AG’s investigation found that Kaplan gave input on a letter Cuomo’s office drafted to rebut Boylan’s allegations.
“[Cuomo aide Melissa] DeRosa reported back to the Governor that Ms. Kaplan and the head of Time’s Up thought the letter was okay with some changes, as did [Cuomo ally Steven] Cohen, but everyone else thought it was a bad idea,” the AG’s report reads.
Less than a month after the AG’s report came out in the fall of 2021, Time’s Up’s A-list advisory board quietly dissolved. Celebrity names on the 71-member board included Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Janelle Monae, Brie Larson, Tessa Thompson, Padma Lakshmi, Laura Dern, America Ferrera, Kerry Washington, Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano, Gretchen Carlson, Amy Schumer, and Julianne Moore.
According to Variety, Time’s Up co-founder Nina Shaw wrote an email to the members instructing them, “There is no need for your individual resignations, as the group no longer exists.” Further, she explained that “The goal behind a quick dissolution of the GLB [Global Leadership Board] was to shield all of you from unfair scrutiny.”
In other words, no need for the public handwringing and apologies that would normally be necessary had the accused not belonged to the Democratic Party. You may go quietly into the night.
Time’s Up’s disgusting partisan leanings ultimately disparaged and put an end to their own cause. They got what they deserved, but what about Hollywood’s most vocal and prominent #MeToo defenders and fundraisers? Will there be any repercussions or mea culpas about how their money went to support alleged predators like Cuomo? No, of course not.