Melissa McCarthy and HBO Max have announced they are withdrawing their support for evangelical nonprofit Exodus Cry as part of their “20 Days of Kindness” fundraising campaign.
“There’s no other way to say it: we messed it up,” McCarthy said in a video posted to Instagram Thursday night. “We made a mistake and we supported a charity which, upon closer examination, is everything we don’t do.”
“I want to thank everyone on social media who said, ‘What are you doing? Are you sure you want to support this? McCarthy continued. “Because the answer is, ‘No, we don’t.'”
HBO Max kicked off “20 Days of Kindness” on Tuesday, linking it to World Kindness Day on Friday and the upcoming Thanksgiving release of McCarthy’s new film. Superintelligence. But Exodus Cry stood out from other charities.
The Daily Beast’s Tarpley Hitt exclusively reported Thursday that Exodus Cry bills itself as an anti-sex trafficking group, but is actually working to abolish sex work altogether. Its founder, Benjamin Nolot, called abortion a “holocaust” and homosexuality “an indescribable offense against God,” Hitt noted. The group has spent years lobbying to criminalize buying sex and recently launched a campaign to shut down Pornhub.
In its own statement, HBO Max said it removed Exodus Cry from the fundraising list: “We have been made aware of the issues with Exodus Cry and have removed them from the list of partners associated with the 20 Days of campaign. kindness, ”a rep for the streamer told Entertainment Tonight.
Exodus Cry, meanwhile, now has an extensive “Myths versus Truths” page on its website. It includes a statement from Nolot, who claims his view of queer people has evolved. “In the past, I had not sufficiently recognized the impact of anti-marriage legislation on sexual minorities and I deeply regret the pain and offense that resulted,” he wrote in part. “I love, respect and defend the right of all people to be free from all forms of oppression … I want to make it clear that I fully embrace the LGBTQ community as a deserving group all rights that protect their dignity, security and equality. “
Concluding her video, McCarthy said she hoped that “20 Days of Kindness” ‘s previous affiliation with Exodus Cry would not affect other charities involved in the campaign.
“We are extremely grateful for ringing the bell and helping us to be better,” said McCarthy. “We are sorry for our mistake. Oh boy, are we sorry for this? I can’t believe we missed it. And that’s it … May the kindness continue, and thank you. Thank you for your help. We really needed it.
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