A Christian anti-trafficking charity has refuted claims that it is anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ after actress Melissa McCarthy withdrew her endorsement.
McCarthy picked Exodus Cry as one of the organizations being promoted by her during her 20 Days of Kindness campaign.
The campaign was being run jointly with HBO Max in conjunction with the release of her new movie, Superintelligence.
The non-profit was to receive a $20,000 donation and be promoted across McCarthy's social media accounts during the 20 Days of Kindness.
But on Friday, McCarthy posted a video to Twitter apologizing for endorsing Exodus Cry because of the organization's apparent views on sexuality and abortion.
Thanks for helping us correct a big mistake ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xy6wE3jO41— Melissa McCarthy (@melissamccarthy) November 13, 2020
"We blew it, we made a mistake and we backed a charity that, upon proper vetting, stands for everything that we do not," she said.
"I want to thank everyone on social media who said, 'What are you doing? Are you sure you want to back this?'" McCarthy continued.
"Because the answer is, 'No, we do not.'"
McCarthy's change of heart came after her support was challenged in The Daily Beast which said Exodus Cry was anti-gay and anti-abortion.
Exodus Cry's CEO Benjamin Nolot has since issued a statement saying his views on LGBT issues have "evolved".
"In the past I did not adequately recognize the impact of anti-marriage legislation on sexual minorities and I deeply regret the pain and offense that has caused," he wrote.
"I love, respect and advocate for the right of all people to be free from all forms of oppression ... I want to make clear that I fully embrace the LGBTQ community as a group that deserves all of the rights that protect their dignity, safety and equality."
Exodus Cry accused The Daily Beast of making "false and defamatory" statements about its work, which it said had no connection with LGBT issues or abortion, and was focused solely on ending human trafficking.
It said it had been "falsely labelled" as a religious extremist group and had been the victim of "misinformation".
"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," it said.
It added: "Although we are dismayed by the far-reaching spread of intentional misinformation that has been presented to millions of people, we have also received an outpouring of public support from followers, trafficking survivors, and those who are just learning about our organization for the first time.
"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."