Time's Up (organization)

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Time's Up
FoundedJanuary 1, 2018; 6 years ago (2018-01-01)
Legal status
  • 501(c)(4) (Time's Up Now)
  • 501(c)(3) (Time's Up Foundation)
PurposeAdvocacy and support for victims of workplace sexual harassment
  • Time's Up Now
  • Time's Up Foundation
  • Time's Up Legal Defense Fund
Websitewww.timesupnow.com Edit this at Wikidata

Time's Up (stylised in all caps) is a non-profit organization that raises money to support victims of sexual harassment. The organization was founded on January 1, 2018, by Hollywood celebrities in response to the Weinstein effect and the Me Too movement. As of January 2020, the organization had raised $24 million in donations.

Time's Up collaborated with the National Women's Law Center to create the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund (TULDF), which provides legal and media support to individuals who have been subject to workplace sex discrimination, such as sexual harassment. The Time's Up Foundation raises money for the TULDF.[1][2]

The organization came under fire after its leadership's involvement in the attempted cover-up of the Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment allegations came to light.[3][4][5] In September 2021, Time's Up dissolved its 71-member advisory board, which included several prominent actors, as a result of the continued fallout from the group's handling of the controversy. It was also reported that its entire governing board would resign and be replaced.[6]

In late 2022, the three board members were Ashley Judd, Nina Shaw, and financial executive Gabrielle Sulzberger.[7] In January 2023 the organization announced it was ceasing operations.


Origins and launch[edit]

Time's Up raises money to support victims of sexual harassment. It was founded on January 1, 2018, by female Hollywood celebrities in response to the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases and the rapid expansion of the Me Too movement.[8][9]

Following the exposure of the widespread sexual abuse allegations made against Harvey Weinstein in early October 2017,[10][11] large numbers of women described their own experiences of sexual harassment on social media while using the hashtag #MeToo.[12][13][14][15] Women within the entertainment industry accused others in the industry of sexual harassment and abuse, as media sources covered Weinstein's legal settlements for sexual misconduct with high frequency.[16][17] During this time, a small group of female talent agents in Los Angeles met to brainstorm solutions to sexual harassment problems in the industry. This group quickly expanded, growing to 150 participants and began to hold weekly meetings and frequent workshops to discuss related issues and solutions.[15]

January 2018 open letter[edit]

Time's Up publicly launched in January 2018, when the founders of Time's up published an open letter as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times and Los Angeles-based Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión.[18] The signatories to the letter included Shonda Rhimes, Jessica Capshaw, Kate Capshaw,[19] Ava DuVernay,[20] Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria and Natalie Portman, among other high-profile women in entertainment.[21][22] In the open letter, Time's Up stated that its goal was to protect working-class women from becoming victims of sexual misconduct.[15] The group announced the creation of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, administered by the National Women's Law Center, which would work towards this end. Time's Up's advocacy arm also stated it would push for the creation of laws to both punish companies that fail to address persistent sexual harassment.[15]

By January 7, 2018, nearly $15 million for the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund had been raised.[23]

Awards show protests[edit]

The January 1 full-page advertisement also called for women on the red carpet at the 75th Golden Globe Awards to wear black and speak out about sexual misconduct.[15] Some Time's Up members brought activists to the awards ceremony and wore pins bearing the group's name.[21][24] During the event, Oprah Winfrey referenced Time's Up in her speech.[24]

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards were hosted later that January. At the awards ceremony, several female musicians donned specific items of clothing to express solidarity with Time's Up. Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Kesha and Cyndi Lauper, wore white roses or all-black outfits, while Lorde's choice of outfit included an excerpt from a work by Jenny Holzer that had been printed on a card and stitched onto the back of her dress.[25] During the awards show Janelle Monáe made a speech referencing Time's Up, calling for pay equality in the music industry and an end to sexual harassment.[26] At the 2018 BAFTA Film Awards in London in March that year, some attendees donned black attire and wore Time's Up pins.[27]

Early growth and development[edit]

The Time's Up organization was initially funded by contributions from Shonda Rhimes and Katie McGrath that allowed the organization it to hire seven full-time employees.[24] According to the Los Angeles Times, the group was "initially fashioned as a democratic collective."[24] In late 2018, Lisa Borders, former president of the WNBA and former Coca-Cola executive, was named the first president and chief executive officer of Time's Up.[28] On February 18, 2019, she stepped down after her son was accused of sexual misconduct.[29][30] Tina Tchen, formerly Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama and executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, was named as chief executive in October 2019.[31][16]

By October 2018, Time's Up raised $22 million from donations for the Times Up Legal Defense Fund.[24]

In January 2019, the organization launched its 4% challenge, asking production companies to show their commitment to working with a woman director on a feature production in the next 18 months. Universal Pictures, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures and Amazon Studios pledged their support for the challenge.[32][33] Using funding from Melinda Gates, in 2020 the organization created the Time's Up Impact Lab in order to research how to best prevent workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.[34] In September 2020, Time's Up Foundation launched "Time's Up, Measure Up," a project of the Time's Up Impact Lab to study the impact of the pandemic and economic crisis on women.[35]

That same year, Time's Up Now, the advocacy arm of Time's Up, launched a campaign titled "We Have Her Back" to support female political candidates and counter what the group described as sexist, racist and derogatory media coverage of women running for office.[36]


In January 2023, Time's Up announced via their website that they were ceasing programmatic operations and directed survivors of workplace sexual harassment or violence to their legal defense fund site. Gabrielle Sulzberger also confirmed this, stating that the organization's board had unanimously decided to shut down the organization's operations at the end of January and that $1.7 million left in funds would be distributed to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.[37]


The organization's mission was to advocate and campaign to address discrimination and harassment in workplaces.[38] Additionally, the organization carries out fundraising for the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund to provide monetary support for victims of workplace sexual discrimination so that they can take legal action,[39] especially for individuals within lower-wage occupations and people of color.[34][21]


As a movement focused on combatting sexual harassment in the workplace across many industries,[40] the Time's Up movement has received external criticism from a variety of sources. These critiques largely focus on the hypocrisy of the movement and its spokespeople, as well as the general response of Hollywood elites. Many writers have criticized Hollywood for espousing the messages of the movement without making the necessary changes in the industry that the movement is calling for. During awards season, writers called out the industry for "leaning hardest on the very women it has exploited" in order to convert their critiques and testimonies into "inspirational messages and digestible branding exercises".[41] Others criticize the movement for a lack of diversity in its spokespeople. The majority of Time's Up representatives are notably wealthy and of celebrity status. Many progressive commentators criticize the movement for its entrenchment in celebrity culture. They claim celebrities are not committed to the cause beyond their superficial involvement in the Time's Up organization and that these (mostly) women do not represent the interests of women in real communities.[42]

As a movement intended to combat sexual harassment across many industries, critics fear that its focus on Hollywood detracts from other industries. As a counterpoint, many bring attention to the fact that the Movement allies itself with Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.[43] Additionally, many cite that Time's Up draws inspiration from the #MeToo movement, a campaign started and organized by activists of color like Tarana Burke. Similar critiques came to light during the Golden Globes in January 2018, when many actresses and signatories of the movement dressed in black brought prominent activists as their dates; for example, Burke arrived with Michelle Williams, and Meryl Streep brought Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance as her date. Other activists in attendance included Rosa Clemente, Saru Jayaraman, Billie Jean King, Marai Larasi, Calina Lawrence, and Mónica Ramírez, co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.[44] Though many praised this choice as an opportunity to lend voices to prominent activists in the field, others heavily criticized these and other actresses for showcasing activists of color as moral accessories.[41] In an interview with Variety, however, Burke herself commented that once she received an invitation from Michelle Williams to attend the awards, she thought this choice was "brilliant".[45]

In January 2020, Tara Reade, who a year prior accused Joe Biden of inappropriate touching, sought assistance from Time's Up with making public her claim of sexual assault by the former Vice President. In February she was informed by the organization that taking her case would threaten their tax-exempt status given that he was running for office.[46] In late March 2020, said she felt "betrayed" by Time's Up after the organization failed to inform her of their connections with the Biden campaign before she revealed to them the details of her allegation. She saw payments by the Biden campaign to Time's Up as "a way to silence [her] further from getting [her] story heard".[47]

In January 2020, Oprah Winfrey, a founding donor, announced that she would be withdrawing as an executive producer of On The Record, a documentary about the accusers of Russell Simmons. Shortly afterward, Time's Up Now and Time's Up Legal Defense Fund (TULDF) were asked to sign a letter of support for the accusers; TULDF signed the letter, but Time's Up Now refused to. According to The Hollywood Reporter, many in the industry saw the organization's alignment with Winfrey as evidence of "an inherent conflict of interest — that the group is largely funded by Hollywood power brokers."[48] This is a criticism that has been leveled at Time's Up Now since its inception in 2017.[48]

Employees of Time's Up have criticized the organization for the portion of its funds spent on executive salaries.[49][50] According to an April 2021 report from The Daily Beast, employees have criticized the organization's leadership for their "deference to powerful political allies."[51]

Andrew Cuomo sexual misconduct allegations[edit]

On August 9, 2021, Time's Up chairwoman Roberta Kaplan resigned from her role as chairwoman of the organization's board of directors, after an investigative report describing the allegations that then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had sexually harassed women said she was involved in an effort to discredit former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, the first of numerous women to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct.[3][4][52] An investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James stated that Kaplan had reviewed an unpublished op-ed letter attacking one of the women who had alleged harassment by Cuomo.[52] These allegations caused Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen to resign on August 26, 2021.[53]

Later, on September 10, 2021, Time's Up dissolved its entire advisory board and announced that all of the governing board members would resign and be replaced over 30 days. Variety described the group as being "in freefall" ever since the release of the state Attorney General's investigation into Cuomo's alleged sexual misconduct and harassment.[6] In November 2021, interim president and CEO Monifa Bandele stood down and Time's Up said it would replace all its current staff at the start of 2022.[54]


Tina Tchen was until August 2021 the President and CEO of both Time's Up Now, a 501(c)4 social welfare organization, and Time's Up Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity.[16][55][48] Board members include Nina Shaw,[56] Eva Longoria, Katie McGrath, Shonda Rhimes, and Jurnee Smollett.[39] Former board members include Kaplan.[39][52]

The Time's Up Legal Defense Fund (TULDF) was co-founded by Kaplan and Tchen[57][58] and is operated separately by the National Women's Law Center which both houses and administers the fund.[59][60][61] TULDF's director is Sharyn Tejani.[62] The fund provides legal and media support to individuals who have been subject to workplace sex discrimination, such as sexual harassment.[59] The TULDF initiative is funded by direct donations and through donations to the Time's Up Foundation.[1][2][39] The initial fundraising GoFundMe campaign for the legal defense fund in 2018 received $21 million in two months.[63] The New York Times called the TULDF "[Time's Up]'s crown jewel."[64]

Time's Up has also formed and oversees several industry-specific groups: Time's Up Entertainment,[60] Time's Up Tech, Time's Up Advertising, and Time's Up Healthcare.[65]

As of January 2020, the organization had raised $24 million in donations.[66]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Maddaus, Gene (December 22, 2020). "Time's Up Financial Reports Show Growth, Detail CEO Severance". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Time's Up Legal Defense Fund: Three Years and Looking Forward" (PDF). National Women's Law Center. 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Leader of Time's Up movement Roberta Kaplan quits after backlash over her work with Andrew Cuomo". Sky News. United Kingdom. August 10, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Thomas, David (August 9, 2021). "Roberta Kaplan exits Time's Up board following Cuomo report". Reuters.
  5. ^ Villenueve, Marina (August 9, 2021). "Time's Up leader resigns after criticism about Cuomo ties". The Press-Democrat. Associated Press.
  6. ^ a b Maddaus, Gene (September 10, 2021). "Time's Up Dissolves Advisory Board That Included Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain and Reese Witherspoon".
  7. ^ Rebecca Keegan (October 3, 2022). "#MeToo, Five Years Later: Why Time's Up Imploded". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  8. ^ "Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston: See Who's Given $500k, More to Fight Harassment". People Magazine. January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  9. ^ TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund Annual Report 2018 (Report). National Women's Law Center. December 17, 2018. p. 8. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Chuck, Elizabeth (October 16, 2017). "#MeToo: Alyssa Milano promotes hashtag that becomes anti-harassment rallying cry". NBC News. Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "Weinstein". FRONTLINE. Archived from the original on March 26, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Smartt, Nicole. "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in A #MeToo World". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 16, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Felsenthal, Edward. "Why the Silence Breakers Are TIME's Person of the Year 2017". Time.
  14. ^ Carlsen, Audrey (October 23, 2018). "#MeToo Brought Down 201 Powerful Men. Nearly Half of Their Replacements are Women". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e Buckley, Cara (January 1, 2018). "Powerful Hollywood Women Unveil Anti-Harassment Action Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c Wilson, Wendy (December 3, 2019). "TIME'S UP Now CEO offers unwavering support for women challenging toxic workplace cultures". theGrio. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  17. ^ Gose, Ben (March 2, 2018). "Time's Up Fund to Fight Sexual Harassment Raises $21 million From Around the Globe". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  18. ^ Fortmueller, Kate (2019). "Time's Up (Again?): Transforming Hollywood's Industrial Culture". Media Industries. 6 (2). doi:10.3998/mij.15031809.0006.201. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  19. ^ Trendell, Andrew (January 12, 2018). "Steven Spielberg speaks out on Weinstein scandal and Catherine Deneuve slamming the #MeToo movement". NME Magazine. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  20. ^ Holloway, Daniel; Chuba, Kirsten (September 25, 2018). "Inside Time's Up Entertainment's Plan to Take on Sexism in Hollywood". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  21. ^ a b c Langone, Alix (March 8, 2018). "#MeToo and Time's Up Founders Explain the Difference Between the 2 Movements — And How They're Alike". TIME. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  22. ^ "Original signers of the letter" (PDF). Time's Up Now. January 1, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  23. ^ Mackelden, Amy (January 7, 2018). "The TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund Has Reached Its $15 Million Fundraising Goal". Elle Magazine. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  24. ^ a b c d e James, Meg (October 25, 2018). "Time's Up has kept #MeToo in the spotlight and raised $22 million. Now it wants leadership and focus". L.A. Times. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  25. ^ McKenzie, Lesley (January 30, 2018). "Jenny Holzer, the feminist artist behind Lorde's Grammys gown message, isn't a stranger to the fashion world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  26. ^ Eidell, Lynsey (January 28, 2018). "Janelle Monae Calls Time's Up on the Music Industry at the 2018 Grammys". W Magazine. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  27. ^ "How Hollywood, Awards Shows Helped Expand Time's Up Into a Worldwide Cause". Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  28. ^ Hinchliffe, Emma (November 1, 2018). "Time's Up Gets CEO, Expands Mission". Fortune (Paper). 178 (5): 12.
  29. ^ Kaufman, Meg James, Amy (February 22, 2019). "Sexual misconduct allegations against Time's Up CEO Lisa Borders' son prompted her resignation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ Jensen, Erin (February 22, 2019). "Time's Up: CEO Lisa Borders' resignation came after sexual-assault claim against son". USA Today. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  31. ^ Zraick, Karen (October 7, 2019). "Tina Tchen, Ex-Obama Aide, Will Take Over Time's Up". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  32. ^ "The 4% Challenge". Time's Up. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  33. ^ "Time's Up scores victory as Universal steps in with pledge". Film Industry Network. February 1, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Flynn, Caitlin (January 1, 2020). "TIME'S UP 2nd Anniversary Falls Just Before Harvey Weinstein's Trial, Symbolizing the Work to Come". Teen Vogue. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  35. ^ Cutter, Chip (September 27, 2020). "Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen Fights for Workplace Equality. Covid-19 Makes That Job Harder". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  36. ^ Saad, Nardine (August 12, 2020). "Why celebrities are declaring 'We have her back' about Kamala Harris". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  37. ^ Tinoco, Andromo (January 21, 2023). "Time's Up Organization Halts Operations & Shifts Remaining Resources To Legal Defense Fund". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  38. ^ Rendon, Jim (January 12, 2021). "Why Women Don't Get Ahead at Nonprofits". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  39. ^ a b c d Maddaus, Gene (December 22, 2020). "Time's Up Financial Reports Show Growth, Detail CEO Severance". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  40. ^ Alba., Conte (2010). Sexual harassment in the workplace: law and practice (4th ed.). New York: Aspen Publishers. ISBN 9780735597655. OCLC 595739050.
  41. ^ a b Hess, Amanda (January 24, 2018). "Hollywood Uses the Very Women It Exploited to Change the Subject". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  42. ^ Sen, Rinku (January 9, 2018). "The Lefty Critique of #TimesUp Is Tired and Self-Defeating". The Nation. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  43. ^ Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
  44. ^ Berman, Eliza (January 8, 2018). "Meet the Activists Who Accompanied Celebrities on the Golden Globes Red Carpet". Time Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  45. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (April 10, 2018). "Tarana Burke on Hollywood, Time's Up, and Me Too Backlash". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  46. ^ Grim, Ryan (March 24, 2020). "Time's Up Said It Could Not Fund a #MeToo Allegation Against Joe Biden, Citing Its Nonprofit Status and His Presidential Run". Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  47. ^ Kalmbacher, Colin (March 30, 2020). "Joe Biden Accuser Says Time's Up 'Betrayed' Her: 'In That Hallway, He Was a Man Assaulting a Woman'". Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  48. ^ a b c Keegan, Rebecca; Siegel, Tatiana (June 5, 2020). "When Time's Up Didn't Step Up". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  49. ^ Vincent, Isabel; Froelich, Paula (November 28, 2020). "Star-studded Time's Up charities spent big on salaries, little on helping victims". New York Post. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  50. ^ Loofbourow, Lili (September 23, 2021). "How Did Time's Up Go So Wrong?". Slate.
  51. ^ Shugerman, Emily (April 9, 2021). "Insiders Say #MeToo Powerhouse Time's Up Has Lost Its Way". The Daily Beast.
  52. ^ a b c Kantor, Jodi; Gold, Michael (August 9, 2021). "Roberta Kaplan, Who Aided Cuomo, Resigns from Time's Up". The New York Times. The report from the state attorney general's office found that Ms. Kaplan had reviewed a draft of a disparaging op-ed letter that was aimed at attacking the character of Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who was the first to publicly accuse him of sexual harassment. The op-ed letter was never published.
  53. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (August 26, 2021). "Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen resigns in wake of Cuomo scandal". CNN.com. CNN. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  54. ^ Morris, Kyle (November 20, 2021). "Time's Up fires staff after its CEO, chair admitted advising Andrew Cuomo during sex scandal". Fox News. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  55. ^ "Our Staff". timesupnow.org. Time's Up Now. Archived from the original on April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  56. ^ "Governing Board of Directors". timesupfoundation.org. Time's Up Foundation. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  57. ^ Coleman, Justine (October 7, 2019). "Former Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen named new head of Time's Up". TheHill. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  58. ^ Walters, Joanna (October 21, 2018). "#MeToo a revolution that can't be stopped, says Time's Up co-founder". the Guardian. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  59. ^ a b Grady, Constance (January 16, 2019). "Time's Up was at the center of the 2018 Golden Globes. One year later, what has come of it?". Vox. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  60. ^ a b Holloway, Daniel; Chuba, Kirsten (September 25, 2018). "Inside Time's Up Entertainment's Plan to Take on Sexism in Hollywood". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  61. ^ Holloway, Daniel; Chuba, Kirsten (September 25, 2018). "Inside Time's Up Entertainment's Plan to Take on Sexism in Hollywood". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  62. ^ Schmidt, Samantha (February 8, 2021). "She reported sexual harassment by a former supervisor — and was fired soon after". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  63. ^ Langone, Alix (March 8, 2018). "#MeToo and Time's Up Founders Explain the Difference Between the 2 Movements — And How They're Alike". TIME. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  64. ^ Buckley, Cara (February 20, 2019). "Time's Up a Year Later: Hollywood Women Test Their Clout". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  65. ^ Buckley, Cara (February 20, 2019). "Time's Up a Year Later: Hollywood Women Test Their Clout". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  66. ^ "Time's Up fund has linked 4,000 alleged sexual harassment victims with attorneys". www.cbsnews.com. January 8, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2021.