“Time’s Up”, an California organization set up to fight sexual harassment has come under fire.
While most agree the idea behind the movement had noble aims, the group is now being criticized due to new revelations over their latest tax filings.
Recent tax filings reveal that the group has spent a majority of its donated funds on excessive salaries for a select few, wasteful spending on lavish conferences, and even using charitable proceeds to establish a lobbying firm named Times Up Now.
While the “Times Up ” foundation is classified as a 501(c)(3) or a charitable organization, the other half of the venture, Times Up incorporated allowed for the organization to move funds in a manner similar to a slush fund.
The organization which was originally started in 2018, fundraised a large amount of money from a swath of wealthy donors and organizations.
According to Forbes Magazine, donors included wealthy talent agencies like ICM Partners, Creative Artists Agency, Paradigm Talent Agency, United Talent Agency, The Wunderkinder Foundation, and even the likes of William Morris Endeavor. Funding from these agencies amounted to nearly 30% of Times up funding as well as providing the initial funding for it’s previous iteration, “Me Too”.
The economic magnitude of Times Up doner list can’t be understated.
William Morris Endeavor is one the world’s largest entertainment entities & is somewhat considered to be ‘Hollywood Royalty’, representing thousands of A-list actors or producers that regularly appear in the entertainment industry.
William Morris Endeavor, now formally called Endeavor due to a 2009 merger, also has deep political ties.
The CEO of Endeavor Talent Agency, Ari Emanuel is the older brother of former mayor of Chicago and the Obama administration’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
However it’s also worth noting that Endeavor Talent Agencies has had its own allegations of sexual abuse levied against them.
According to Variety Magazine, in 2017 Terry Crews, a Black actor, accused a Endeavor (at the time known as William Morris Endeavor) talent agent, Adam Venit of painfully groping his genitalia at a festive outing. Terry Crews later settled a lawsuit with the agency in 2018 for an undisclosed amount of money.
How did Time’s Up not know about these allegations? Adam Venit’s charges of sexual assault were brought up in 2017 when the Me too movement and its newer organization “Time’s Up” were supposedly “targeting sexual assault or harassment in Hollywood.”
The tax filings from Times Up Now state that its mission is “to promote safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds. We work to make sure that women are free from harassment and other forms of discrimination on the job, have equal opportunity for economic security and can achieve the highest positions of power wherever they work.”
So why would Time’s Up accept money from an organization embattled with its own sexual assault allegations?
The criticisms don’t stop there.
While Time’s Up managed to raise around 4 million in its founding year, it also spent $1,407,032 on salaries alone.
Although she only participated for four months, Lisa Borders headed Time’s Up CEO of the venture for 2018 and was paid a whopping $342,308 for her services. The Chief Marketing Officer, Rachel Terrace, collected a salary of $295,000 and the head Treasurer Rebecca Goldman, drew a salary of $255,327.
That means that Time’s Up as an organization paid nearly a million dollars for the salaries of 3 people, one of which worked for their group for less than 6 months.
Additionally, Times up/Times up Now spent $157,000 on conferences at luxury resorts, and another $58,395 spent on travel. The conferences during June 2018 included a stay at a luxury resort in Ojai where a room costs 400 dollars a night.
Filings also show that $288,007 was spent on advertising, and specifically $112,435 of those funds were given to one small entity named Rally, a west-coast based branding firm.
They also spent $719,522 on legal consultations from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, a hefty law firm that has a long history of lobbying on Capitol Hill.
On top of all this, Times up/Times up Now only spent a total of $312,001 of its own money on legal defense of individuals who claim to be sexually assaulted or harassed. Yet it has publicly claimed that it spent $1,747,635.
Upon further examination it becomes clear that out of the $1,747,635 that Times up/Times up Now spent on victims of sexual violence $1,435,634.00 came from “grants” from the National Women’s Law Center Fund, meaning that only around 18% of Times up funding for legal activities actually came from itself.
It would appear that Times Up, at least as an organization, were far more concerned with compensating themselves using donations from those who believed in a good cause, rather than making any substantive change in regards to stopping sexual abuse.
–Barrington Williams, B1Daily