Melissa McCarthy drops support for controversial charity after backlash: 'We blew it'

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Melissa McCarthy is apologizing for failing to properly vet a charity that she supported in her 20 Days of Kindness campaign to mark World Kindness Day on Nov. 13.

As part of the promotion for her upcoming movie Superintelligence, McCarthy is spotlighting organizations doing good works, to which her partner, HBO Max, is donating $20,000. She posted a video Friday in which she said one had been dropped from the list.

While McCarthy never mentioned the name of the group, HBO Max confirmed to ET that it was Exodus Cry, which describes itself online as “committed to abolishing sex trafficking and breaking the cycle of commercial sexual exploitation while assisting and empowering its victims” by means of “uprooting the underlying causes in our culture that allow the industry of sexual exploitation to thrive....”

According to The Daily Beast, the nonprofit’s founder, Benjamin Nolot, has called abortion a “holocaust” and homosexuality “an unspeakable offense to God.”

McCarthy said the campaign team members were unaware of the controversy.

“There’s no other way to say it, we blew it,” McCarthy said. “We made a mistake and we backed a charity that, upon proper vetting, stands for everything that we do not.”

She was grateful to the people who brought it up to her.

“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 is, no we do not,” McCarthy 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 said she hoped the error didn’t “ding the other charities” on the list, which include Planned Parenthood, the Trevor Project and Habitat for Humanity.

Exodus Cry’s website features a lengthy article titled “Myths vs. Truths About Exodus Cry,” dated Aug. 20. It refutes accusations that it’s a “right wing,” “religious extremist,” racist, “anti-LGBTQ+” “anti sex worker” organization or one that “campaigns against women’s rights.” They said Nolot’s personal views on LGBTQ issues have “changed and evolved,” and his take on abortion is not that of the organization.

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