If you’ve been tracking with us on social media lately you probably know that HBO Max, along with comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy, recently pledged to support Exodus Cry with $20,000 as part of their 20 Days of Kindness campaign to promote her new film, Superintelligence. However, after announcing our partnership, a defamatory article was published about us, condemning HBO and Melissa for supporting us.
Later that evening, Melissa posted a video to her Instagram publicly withdrawing Exodus Cry from the campaign stating, “we backed a charity that… stands for everything that we do not.” Subsequently, the story was picked up by major media outlets both nationally as well as internationally, repeating and affirming the same false and defamatory accusations as the original article.
We are deeply disappointed that HBO Max and Melissa McCarthy reneged on their commitment to donate to, and support, Exodus Cry as part of the promotion for their upcoming film. While we are saddened about the lost opportunity to showcase our organization, we are particularly dismayed that Exodus Cry, which works tirelessly to eliminate human trafficking, has been intentionally mischaracterized before a worldwide audience.
Exodus Cry is an organization that since its inception has never advocated, campaigned, or focused on any other issue besides abolishing sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
We are inclusive of, and work with, individuals and groups from a diverse range of convictions and beliefs as we align on the common goal of putting an end to sex trafficking and all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
For over a decade, with the support of activists around the world, we’ve effectively raised awareness about the injustice of sex trafficking on a global scale through award-winning documentaries, and viral videos. (Watch our video on the crisis of child trafficking in the porn industry, which got 33 million views). We have played a role in introducing and changing critical domestic and international laws, and have offered assistance to thousands of sex trafficking victims on four continents.
Our recent petition to hold Pornhub accountable for enabling and profiting from the mass sex trafficking and rape of women and children has gained over two million signatures from 192 countries.
Exodus Cry has received consultative status at the United Nations and our work has been endorsed by over 300 organizations worldwide.
Despite the negative media attention springing from this disappointing situation, we’ve heard from people worldwide speaking out in our favor, and helping to tell the world about who we are. Our team is grateful for the outpouring of public support from followers, trafficking survivors, and those learning about our organization for the first time.
As a survivor of sex trafficking… I have worked to fight sex trafficking in over 6 countries and have been in the fight for over 12 years. There is literally no one on this planet fighting it better than Benji Nolot and Exodus Cry.
Below are just a handful of comments from among the thousands of activists vocalizing their support for everything we stand for.
“Exodus Cry is an organization that has actually helped me work through the trauma of having been sex trafficked and exploited. I was so excited when I heard about them being part of this. Now I’m not just saddened, I’m upset. They do more work for those coming out of the sex industry and who have been sexually exploited than any of us can even imagine.” -Kimmy, Survivor
“Wow, this is so disappointing. Exodus Cry is an amazing organization that has saved thousands of lives and continues to do so today. To say that they ‘stand for everything we do not’ is a devastating comment for those who have suffered at the hand of human trafficking. We will continue to support Exodus Cry and all of the extraordinary work they do.” -@maggielacy_
“As someone who has worked in child protection for a decade now, I am so disappointed to hear you withdraw your support of an organization like Exodus Cry that has dedicated themselves to highlighting the ending of child sex trafficking. Shocking that you would state they stand for everything you do not, especially based off an op-ed piece.” -@daksina
“So, let me get this straight. Apparently protecting the exploitation of young children, women and men is against everything you stand for? They literally fight against human trafficking. So disappointed that you withdrew your donation. Thanks for bringing this organization to my attention so that I can donate to them.” -@lauraashleyparra
“Over the past 7 years doing anti-sex trafficking work I have seen Exodus Cry in action and worked alongside them. They have always carried themselves with a spirit of inclusion and collaboration. They have one focus, end sexual exploitation & trafficking. Do you not want to participate in helping end trafficking?” -@abigaileernisse
“I had the great privilege to join Exodus Cry fight human trafficking in Russia in 2018. This organization is one of the most loving and accepting organizations of all people and they are helping those in sexual exploitation in SO MANY ways! They have helped more women than can be counted, have fought against human trafficking through media, changing legislation, and brought practical help to men and women all over the world…” -@catclclark
“As a survivor of sex trafficking and of the US justice system (aka got away from my trafficker by going to prison for two years, as a victim) I am also a mother, a wife, and currently studying at UC Berkely on a full-ride scholarship in Spanish and Human Rights. I have worked to fight sex trafficking in over 6 countries and have been in the fight for over 12 years. There is literally no one on this planet fighting it better than Benji Nolot and Exodus Cry… Exodus Cry will continue in the trenches day after day. Even when your 20 Days of Kindness is over.” -Christina Rangel, Survivor Leader
There are THOUSANDS of comments like these and, even in the midst of this incredibly unfortunate situation, our team has felt an overwhelming sense of encouragement. As always, it’s compassionate activists and abolitionists like you who are the heart of this global movement for freedom, and whose support allows us to fight sex trafficking every day.
One of the most shared phrases we keep seeing on social media is “I support everything Exodus Cry stands for.” We loved it so much we made our own version of it, along with a series of phrases telling exactly what we stand for. Check it out here on Instagram and here on Facebook, and please share it so everyone can know the truth of who Exodus Cry really is!
To directly support the fight against trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, give at exoduscry.com/donate