Something positive came out of Hollywood’s biggest scandal in years.
In October of 2017 Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein’s predatory secrets got exposed for all to see. His downfall led to the Time’s Up Foundation, a nonprofit sworn to defend and protect women from the Weinsteins of the world.
Hollywood, which to many observers kept Weinstein’s secrets for decades, rallied behind the group, both fiscally and by joining its governing boards. Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, America Ferrera and more lent their celebrity cache to its noble quest.
Make Weinstein-style predators extinct.
Now, Time’s Up is trying to heal from a series of self-inflicted wounds, a downfall mainstream media reporters downplayed for as long as they could.
Now, even the group’s celebrity supporters have had enough.
The organization’s woes have been easy to see for some time. The group championed the weak sexual abuse allegation against Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 but refused to back Tara Reade after she accused Joe Biden of a decades old sexual assault charge.
Time’s Up’s financial picture also drew scrutiny, a story the press gave only rudimentary coverage.
In 2020 the organization failed to throw its weight behind the HBO Max documentary “On the Record.” The feature detailed the sexual assault allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons, with Winfrey personally withdrawing support for the project.
The far-Left Hollywood Reporter’s take on the matter proved eye-opening.
Time’s Up, the influential anti-sexual harassment organization in which Winfrey is a founding donor, seemed to side with the mogul.
That was just part of the group’s problems, though.
The Daily Beast reported last month how former Time’s Up staffers and supporters alike publicly blasted the organization for drifting away from its goals. One disgruntled staffer snarked the group was merely the “patriarchy with a dress on.”
The biggest blow to the organization’s credibility?
We learned Time’s Up colluded with the Cuomo administration to do damage control for the embattled Democrat. The public already knew as of late last year that at least 10 women accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of inappropriate sexual behavior.
All the while, the same celebrities who praise the group remained silent. So did the rest of Hollywood’s activist community.
This reporter reached out to eight celebrity Time’s Up backers on behalf of JustTheNews.com. Did they have any comment on the Cuomo scandal and the toxic accusations from former Time’s Up staffers?
- Oprah Winfrey
- Brie Larson
- Rosanne Arquette
- Natalie Portman
- America Ferrera
- Shonda Rhimes
- Ashley Judd
- Eva Longoria.
Seven of the eight stars failed to respond to the requests for comment. Arquette’s representative referred JTN to a Tweet she shared on the issue:
“Times up initially was funded by powerful Hollywood men. It changed through the years and the legal defense fund has done some extraordinary work. this shake up is good to move forward in why it was started in the fist (sic) place on the backs of survivors pain now help survivors.”
A women’s rights group running cover for Democrats and ignoring its mission would seem like catnip to most honest, truth-telling reporters.
The various Time’s Up scandals drew modest coverage over the years, at best. The modern news cycle, which moves with the speed of a renegade Tweet, slowed to a crawl as the Time’s Up’s scandals piled up.
Four women who’ve dealt with Time’s Up in connection to Illinois-based sexual misconduct scandals, as well as four others who’ve tried to enlist the help of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, told VICE News that they’ve failed to see the Time’s Up apparatus live up to its lofty promises. Some are not so sure that it can truly disentangle itself from the Democratic political machine—from power, writ large—and re-focus on survivors.
Over the weekend several celebrity supporters officially withdrew from the organization after months, and months, of silence on the group’s various imbroglios.
Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria, Jurnee Smollett, Katie McGrath, Christy Haubegger, Hilary Rosen, Michelle Kydd, and Time’s Up’s interim board chair Nina Shaw are among the members stepping down from their positions with the gender equity group based on a statement posted Saturday to the organization’s website. Colleen DeCourcy, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Ashley Judd and Gabrielle Sulzberger are to remain on the board during this period “to help ensure a smooth transition,” according to the statement.
Some, like vocal Time’s Up critic and sexual assault survivor Alison Turkos, remain skeptical of the changes as well as the timing.
“The governing board remained silent for so long, their silence will not save them,” Turkos said. “This announcement was made late on a Friday night, on a holiday weekend. It doesn’t feel like they are proudly stepping into a new direction.
Why did it take so long for Hollywood stars to address these issues after declaring their support for the cause? How did the group’s many failings escape mainstream media scrutiny until now?
Some serious soul searching from both camps is in order. Meanwhile, victims of male predators still lack a powerful organization they know has their back.