Muse Reporting on the arts and culture

None too kind

Media | Actress Melissa McCarthy reverses course on support for anti-trafficking organization
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 11/17/20, 04:42 pm

Actress Melissa McCarthy’s “20 Days of Kindness” campaign turned out to be anything but kind to a Christian anti–sex trafficking organization.

The nonprofit Exodus Cry said HBO Max contacted it two weeks ago to say McCarthy had selected the group to receive $20,000 and free promotion on her social media accounts. The charity blitz was part of a promotional campaign for McCarthy’s upcoming HBO Max movie, Superintelligence.

Exodus Cry says on its website that it “exists to combat sex trafficking and all forms of commercial sexual exploitation both domestically and internationally.” It helps people leave the commercial sex trade and advocates for political and social change to prevent human trafficking. The group announced its participation in 20 Days of Kindness on Nov. 10.

Two days later, the Daily Beast posted an article with the headline, “Why are HBO and Melissa McCarthy raising money for an anti-abortion group?” The article pointed out that Exodus Cry founder and CEO, Benjamin Nolot, made past comments against abortion, homosexuality, and gay marriage. It also pointed out the charity co-sponsors a campaign with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation called #Traffickinghub to shut down Pornhub, an adult pornographic website. Pornography has been linked to sex trafficking.

Exodus Cry also produced a documentary on Netflix about prostitution and the dangers of the hook-up culture.

All that was enough to make McCarthy cry mea culpa on Instagram on Thursday: “We blew it,” she said. “We backed a charity that, upon proper vetting, stands for everything we do not.” She thanked those who flagged the charity, apologized again, and encouraged viewers to keep donating to her other choices. Planned Parenthood, on the campaign’s list of charities, met her approval.

In a statement to WORLD, Exodus Cry spokesman Daniel Garcia claimed The Daily Beast and McCarthy got it all wrong. He said Exodus Cry does not take a stance on abortion, though its CEO, Nolot, does believe in “the protection of life in the womb.” The charity partners with organizations both for and against abortion with the goal of ending trafficking.

Additionally, Garcia said, “our organization loves, supports, includes, and respects people from all walks of life regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or political views.”

Nolot is a former member of International House of Prayer (IHOP), a congregation whose leader, Mike Bickle, has admitted that 80 percent of the charismatic phenomena that occurred at meetings he’s been part of were fraudulent and fake. Christian organizations such as Grace to You, Pirate Christian, and Christian Research Institute have criticized IHOP for other reasons over the years, including false teachings, an emphasis on prophetic words over the Bible, and a cult-like hold on young people.

Exodus Cry did grow out of IHOP in 2008. Garcia did not comment on any link with IHOP but reiterated Exodus Cry’s sole purpose is to stop sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Garcia also said the United Nations gave the organization consultative status and more than 300 organizations worldwide endorse Exodus Cry and its fight against trafficking. In 2011, it produced an award-winning documentary exposing horrors of trafficking. It recently put out a video showing the connection between pornography and child trafficking.

Exodus Cry has received an outpouring of public support since the McCarthy removed the group from her campaign, Garcia said: “We’re incredibly grateful for all who are standing with us as we continue to maintain a steady focus on the important work of abolishing global sex trafficking.”

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Sharon Dierberger

Sharon is a correspondent and reviewer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Northwestern University graduate. She has served as a university teacher, clinical exercise physiologist, homeschooling mom, businesswoman, and Division 1 athlete. She resides in Stillwater, Minnesota, with her husband, Bill.

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  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Tue, 11/17/2020 04:59 pm

    The first sentence needs a little help... unless I'm reading it wrong?

  • BF
    Posted: Tue, 11/17/2020 10:30 pm

    Try reading it with a comma after the "but".

  • CJ
    Posted: Wed, 11/18/2020 08:27 am

    As in "anything but" kind... anything except kind. No combs needed. 

  • WORLD’s Mickey McLean
    Posted: Wed, 11/18/2020 10:35 am

    Thank you all for pointing that out. We have edited the first sentence for clarity.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Wed, 11/18/2020 09:50 am

    The cancel culture strikes again. Sad but true. It is unfortunate that they are out there dredging up real or imgagined past indiscretions. And of course they use their own definitions and guidelines, often changing by the day, by which to judge anyone who falls under their ever present radar. There are very few who are willing to stand up to them. Retractions, apolgies and distancing are the typcial response.

    Yes that is a poorly constructed opening sentence. It is fine in discourse when one can use inflection or cadence to make one's point. But to use it in prose without punctuation causes one to stumble through until getting ones footing again.

  • Narissara
    Posted: Thu, 11/19/2020 01:51 pm

    The irony is that it's celebrities and sports figures who are the most villified and the quickest to apologize and yet, if they've been good stewards of the material blessings they've received throughout their careers, would be in a better position to weather any financial loss they might incur for taking a stand than would the average person, if they were willing to settle for a lower standard of living.  

  • RC
    Posted: Wed, 11/18/2020 02:23 pm

    “All that was enough to make McCarthy cry mea culpa on Instagram on Thursday: “We blew it,’ she said. “We backed a charity that, upon proper vetting, stands for EVERYTHING we do not.’ “

    So, Ms. McCarthy is 100% FOR abusing women!  Starting with abuse through sex trafficking, abuse in pornography, and finally the abuse that occurs through bodily dismemberment (of extremely young) women while they are still alive!  Ms. McCarty, wake up, your demeaning demented attitude toward women is pretty darn sick.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 12/01/2020 08:13 pm

    You're expecting a modern leftist (no doubt would rather I refer to her as "progressive ") to think logically. Not possible since so many of their positions contradict each other.  All highly amusing to observe, except sometimes actually tragic. 

    Recently the organizers of a community Christmas parade somewhere were forced to issue apologies because a float in the parade displayed pro-life messages. "We are soooo sorry!  We didn't know they would be showing those horrible anti-choice placards!"