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Actress Melissa McCarthy and HBO Max caved to angry liberals and walked back support of a Christian organization fighting sex trafficking around the world.
The 50-year-old star took to Instagram with a message apologizing for appearing to support the evangelical organization, Exodus Cry, after complaints that the nonprofit’s founder has spoken out against abortion and homosexuality.
McCarthy and HBO Max launched a holiday charity effort called “20 Days of Kindness” which is linked to a new film, “Superintelligence.” The anti-sex trafficking group was initially part of the initiative but a $20,000 donation was soon revoked after the Daily Beast published a story claiming the group is “part of a strange anti-porn operation” that has “ties to Trump and the Christian right.”
“Hi there. It has come to our attention that our ’20 Days of Kindness,’ which is a kindness hub that we started to shine a light on 20 great charities, had one in there that, there’s no other way to say it, we blew it,” McCarthy said on Thursday in the video message on Instagram. “We made a mistake and we backed a charity that upon proper vetting stands for everything that we do not.”
“I want to thank everyone on social media who said, ‘What are you doing? Are you sure you want to back this?’ because the answer is, no, we do not,” she said.
“We have pulled it. We are so incredibly grateful for you ringing the bell and helping us be better. We’re sorry for our mistake. Oh boy, are we are sorry for it. Can’t believe that we missed it,” McCarthy continued.
“And that’s it. And I just want to say that I hope it doesn’t ding the other charities because they’re really doing some amazing things, and 20 Days of Kindness Is really meant to shine the light on all of those wonderful charities,” she concluded. “So, let the kindness continue… and thank you. Thanks for the help, we really needed it.”
The holiday-themed promotion was set to “highlight and donate $20K to a different good cause daily for 20 days while encouraging others to lend their support along the way,” according to HBO Max which issued a separate statement about revoking the donation to the Sacramento-based Christian organization.
“We were made aware of the issues surrounding Exodus Cry and have removed them from the list of partners associated with the 20 Days of kindness campaign,” they said, according to The Wrap.
Other groups that made the cut, however, reportedly include Planned Parenthood, Make-A-Wish, Human Rights Campaign, Girls Who Code and The Trevor Project.
Exodus Cry describes itself as “an independent US 501c3 organization, with consultative status at the United Nations, that exists to combat sex trafficking and all forms of commercial sexual exploitation both domestically and internationally.”
In a statement on its website, the group decried the “false accusations” against them after confronting PornHub/MindGeek about its “complicity in the mass sex trafficking and exploitation of women and girls.”
The porn company “has sought to gaslight and deflect from the crimes they have committed by making false accusations,” the statement said.
It also refuted accusations that it is an “anti-LGBTQ+ organization.”
“Exodus Cry exists to help every person, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, be free from the harms of commercial sexual exploitation. Exodus Cry is an organization that since its inception has never advocated, campaigned, or focused on any other issue besides sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation,” the organization added. “Sexual exploitation is the singular focus of Exodus Cry, and any suggestion that Exodus Cry has campaigned against any other issue is categorically false.”
While McCarthy earned heaping praise from the left for apparently owning her mistake and revoking the donation to Exodus Cry, plenty of Twitter users slammed the decision that appeared to be based on the values of the Christian organization.
Apologizes for accidentally supporting an organization she wants to support but is fearful of cancel culture and LGBT community backlash.
— Tru Thang (@truthaaang) November 13, 2020
Wow apologizes for protecting the unborn. God help us
— shoo shoo bros (@alwaysirisheyes) November 13, 2020
2. The fact that “…the nonprofit’s founder, Benjamin Nolot has a history of making anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ comments…” doesn’t change the mission of the charity.
— Brian Heck (@drbrianheck) November 13, 2020
Alternative headline: “#MelissaMcCarthy apologies for accidentally supporting a charity that 1) advocates for the rights of women not to be exploited for sex, 2) values human lives” Got it, thx.
— 3rdBase (@1Chron28_9) November 13, 2020
So sex trafficking good? Just wanting to clarify her asinine stance. So woke. So disgusting. America wake up!
— amazingbhansen (@amazingbhansen) November 14, 2020
Hollywood’s condemnation of Melissa McCarthy’s support for Exodus Cry because they are anti-abortion just goes to show that an industry which promotes sexual gratification will sooner defend sin than the lives of the unborn.
— Zoey Soo (@zsmp1997) November 13, 2020