me too movement

lisa borders

It’s been less than a year since the social movement Time’s Up was founded and they have already named its first-ever president and chief executive officer.  Of course, they have named a woman – Lisa Borders.  Borders most recently served as the president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) where she helped the league to grow its attendance in TV viewership.  When I say “of course” they hired a woman, that’s not to say that a man can’t do the job.  It’s also not to say that men don’t get sexually harassed or abused.  The point I am making is that I think that women need to be represented in corporate America – and this is just one example of where they can make an impact.

Time’s Up was formed in January of 2018 after the entertainment industry was rocked by a series of sexual harassment allegations involving moguls and entertainers such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman, and Matt Lauer. Time’s Up is advocating for safer and more equitable work environments for women in Hollywood and in other industries. The organization was launched with endorsements from a number of prominent artists and entertainers; its celebrity backers include Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Ava DuVernay, Brie Larson, and Natalie Portman.

In addition to this work, Time’s Up has unveiled a legal defense fund in partnership with the National Women’s Law Center.  They’ve received $13 million in initial donations, with most of it coming from Hollywood talent agencies.  Time’s Up has indicated that they have already connected with more than 3,500 women and men from all 50 state to legal resources.  Approximately two-thirds of the people that it’s helped so far are low-wage workers.

While it seems like they’re doing great work, Time’s Up has been criticized recently.  Thandie Newton claimed that the organization is too exclusive and she wasn’t “hot enough” to be included in the group when it was founded.  They have also been criticized for their slow response to the harassment allegations against CBS chief Les Moonves.  But does the length of time that it takes to issue a response, really make a difference?  Of course, they don’t stand with Moonves on this one.  Saying it quickly and publicly doesn’t change what he did.  Time’s Up later called on CBS not to give Moonves a golden parachute after a second report in the New Yorker with additional accusations of sexual misconduct was printed roughly a month later. The group has also slammed the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh after abuse allegations emerged against the judge.

In addition to her work with the WNBA, Borders served as VP of global community affairs at the Coca-Cola Company and chair of the soft drink maker’s foundation. She also offers political experience, having worked as vice mayor of Atlanta and president of the Atlanta City Council.

While I think it’s ok to criticize if they were to take the opposite stance against Moonves or Kavanaugh but to criticize them for being slow is a bit much, in my opinion.  This group is doing great work to end the reign of sexual harassers in Hollywood and elsewhere in America, so let’s cut them some slack for being slow with their news releases.  That said, I think Borders will do an excellent job in her new role.