Actress Melissa McCarthy took to Instagram last night to issue an apology for an accidental donation to Exodus Cry, a group that ostensibly opposes human trafficking but conceals a harsh anti-LGBTQ agenda beneath its mission statement.
The donation came as part of “20 Days of Kindness,” a charity initiative promoting McCarthy’s forthcoming film Superintelligence. McCarthy partnered with HBO Max to launch the drive, with the streaming service donating $20,000 every day for 20 days to worthy non-profit organizations in hopes of encouraging fans to do the same. One of those donations went to Exodus Cry, founded by filmmaker Benjamin Nolot. Nolot has a long history of opposing contraceptive rights for women, criminalizing pornography and attacking the LGBTQ community. Nolot has decried marriage equality in his tweets, and referred to homosexuality as “an unspeakable offense to God.”
After an internet outcry over the donation to Exodus Cry, McCarthy went into damage control mode. In her emotional statement, a poised McCarthy apologized for making the donation, and commended the voices that alerted her and HBO Max to the history of Exodus Cry. She also confirmed that the donation had been rescinded.
“It has come to our attention that our 20 Days of Kindness, which is something–a kindness up that we started to kind of shine a light on 20 great charities — had one in there that, there’s no other way to say it, we blew it,” McCarthy admitted. “We made a mistake and we backed a charity that, upon proper vetting, stands for everything that we do not. So 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 was no we do not.”
“We have pulled it. We are so incredibly grateful for you ringing the bell and helping us be better,” she added. “We’re sorry for our mistake. Oh boy, are we sorry for it, can’t believe that we missed it. 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. So, let the kindness continue… and thank you. Thanks for the help, we really needed it.”