Actress Melissa McCarthy took to Instagram Thursday to apologize for inadvertently supporting an evangelical organization known to be anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion. McCarthy admitted she and her team "blew it," and the donation to the group Exodus Cry was "pulled." The organization was among those to receive a $20,000 donation as part of a "20 Days of Kindness" program McCarthy and HBO Max launched for her new movie Superintelligence.
After she learned about Exodus Cry's history, McCarthy apologized for the donation in an Instagram video. "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," the former Mike and Molly star said. "We made a mistake and we backed a charity that upon proper vetting, stands for everything that we do not."
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McCarthy thanked fans for bringing the organization's beliefs to her attention and said they do not support the group's views. She also hoped the mistake does not overshadow the work of the other organizations she and HBO Max supported. "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 sorry for it," McCarthy said. "[I] can’t believe that we missed it. And that’s it."
"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," HBO said in a statement to The Wrap. The other groups included in the 20 Days of Kindness program included Make-A-Wish, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, Girls Who Code, and The Trevor Project.
The Daily Beast first pointed out that Exodus Cry was among the groups receiving a donation as part of McCarthy and HBO Max's program. The group is based in Sacramento, California. Although the group's stated mission is to abolish "sex trafficking and breaking the cycle of commercial exploitation," its CEO, Benjamin Nolot, has made controversial remarks about homosexuality and abortion. He compared abortion to the Holocaust and called homosexuality an "unspeakable offense to God," notes The Wrap. Nolot recently said his views on the LGBTQ community have "evolved" and he now supports "the right of all people to be free from all forms of oppression."
McCarthy's new film, Superintelligence, will be released on HBO Max on Nov. 26. Her husband, Ben Falcone, directed it. McCarthy plays a woman who begins hearing voices from her electronics, and it turns out that voice is coming from the world's first-ever superintelligence. James Corden, Bobby Cannavale, Bian Tyree Henry, Jean Smart and Sam Richardson also star.