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Manhunt Chairman Jonathan Crutchley Steps Down from Board


As a response earlier this week to revelations that Manhunt Chairman and founder Jonathan Crutchley (above, right) had maxed out his individual personal contributions to vocal gay rights opponent Senator John McCain ($2300) which we reported on Wednesday, Crutchley has apparently been pressured by the board of the company to step down as Chairman.

I received this statement made by founder Larry Basile (above, left) in my inbox late yesterday from an anonymous source at Manhunt and called Manhunt which confirmed its legitimacy. Please read the statement below:


"There has been a depiction this week of MANHUNT being Republican. All my life, I have never voted to the right, and have always been generous to 20th Century Democrats, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, HRC, and the NGLTF.

"I was arrested at the Supreme Court and FDA in Act-Up actions, and was the founder of the Grass Roots Gay Rights Fund, which over the years has raised more than $800K. I was the Treasurer of Out Week magazine, which was a powerful force in its time. I began giving Obama donations in March 2007, and I have sent several checks that have yet to be reported. The hat and t-shirt I wear say 'Obama for President', as does the sign in front of my house. I refuse to live in a country that is so marred by war and hate. To me, Barak (sic) is by far the best candidate, probably better than we deserve.

"It should be known that Jonathan Crutchley's donation to McCain left the entire Board in disbelief. I am disappointed that we have lost some customers, and I understand the anger. It is too bad for the web site if we lose customers, but PLEASE never refer to me as a Republican. I consider it an offense.

"Earlier today, at the request of the Board, Jonathan has stepped down as Chairman. Sincerely, Larry Basile."


One last note: We never referred to Basile as a Republican. Also, though Crutchley has stepped down from the board, as far as we know he's still collecting money from thousands of gays and donating it to a presidential candidate who would deny them status as equal citizens.

Manhunt Responds to Account Cancelation Over McCain Donation [tr]
McCain Takes $2300 Contribution from Owner of Gay Sex Site Manhunt [tr]
(top photo: OUT - "Has Manhunt Destroyed Culture?")

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  1. Well damn.

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 15, 2008 7:40:37 AM

  2. Oh good grief, who cares? It's his money and his choice as an American. He obviously feels McCain is stronger on other more important issues....neither of the candidates fill my needs, so I'll just have to choose on the issues which are most important to me. The gay thing will probably be a distant third after the economy and national security. I find it more offensive that they are asking him to step down!

    Posted by: TomTom | Aug 15, 2008 7:42:26 AM

  3. "It should be known that Jonathan Crutchley's donation to McCain left the entire Board in disbelief. I am disappointed that we have lost some customers, and I understand the anger. It is too bad for the web site if we lose customers, but PLEASE never refer to me as a Republican. I consider it an offense."

    What utter bullshit, Lar. The MANHUNT Board knowingly elected a Republican as Chairman and NOW you're grabbing your pearls?!? What the fuck did you expect from this turd, Crutchley?

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Aug 15, 2008 7:44:11 AM

  4. TOMTOM, I'm all for voter's rights, however. A vote for John McCain is a vote for a man that is against our rights-if you are for civil rights.. Read up. Andy just posted.

    Posted by: OTTO | Aug 15, 2008 7:53:40 AM

  5. Hey, they're free to vote for whomever they want.

    We're free to not spend money with them.

    Odd now that they don't want to deal with the ramifications of those freedoms when applied to their bottom line.

    Besides, all the married closeted jerks on Manhunt aren't going to cancel, so they really have little to worry about.

    Posted by: Ben | Aug 15, 2008 7:58:15 AM

  6. I have a few republican friends (okay, two that I'm aware of), and I wouldn't exclude them from a business venture unless the company itself was political in nature. Their affiliations wouldn't even be a factor. However, if that business targeted a more liberal demographic, I certainly would not elect one of them into company's highest-profile position.

    In this case, I think it's possible Manhunt's board was unaware of Crotchley's political ties and contributions. And I think they've taken the appropriate action. They couldn't have fired him if they had wanted to, and anything more severe than asking him to step down would have only resulted in a costly lawsuit.

    The only thing that really shocks me is that ANY gay man with more common sense than a rusty nail, would lend a dime of support to politicians who want gay people to have fewer rights and less protection under the law than their straight counterparts.

    Posted by: sparks | Aug 15, 2008 8:08:37 AM

  7. Is Manhunt another Coors?

    Company is pro-gay, but the majority shareholders donate to anti-gay causes and politicians?

    Posted by: qjersey | Aug 15, 2008 8:10:47 AM

  8. Every whore has his price. The man is just a typical gay Republican whore. The money is all that ultimately matters to these assholes. Who the fuck cares about gay rights if you are worth millions? He built his fortune on our backs. Every whore has his price.

    Posted by: Bostonian Queer in Dallas | Aug 15, 2008 8:14:26 AM

  9. I love this whole notion that you can ignore issues like equality and human rights and still be 'a good leader'--and that rights issues of any kind (or is it just 'gay rights', whatever those are) should rank a distant third behind the economy and national security. (Especially for a candidate whose already demonstrated that he'll be as dismal a failure as his predecessor on those as well.)

    Great. Good. Vote for him. You get the leader you deserve.

    Posted by: David D. | Aug 15, 2008 8:18:49 AM

  10. I am amazed that people respond to this by saying "Who cares?"
    These people get alot of money from the gay community. Manhunt is such a widely used site and I used it for both sexual encoiunters but mostly for social networking when I moved to a new city. The thought that my money was part of a salary for a person donating to John McCain made me rather ill. Needless to say I canceled my account with Manhunt. I forwarded the towlerroad posting to many friends. I didnt tell them to do anything...but most of them canceled their accounts as well.
    And now this...he has stepped down.
    Obviously alot of people care

    Posted by: Paulie | Aug 15, 2008 8:20:50 AM

  11. It just goes to show that a stiff dick knows no conscience.

    He can do whatever he wants with his money.

    We can be as appalled as we want about it, and we can try and hurt his business.

    His board can pressure him to resign for PR reasons.

    None one has to like it.

    This whole scene, with all the outrage and indignation, reminds me of why personal liberty (for him, for us, for the Manhunt Board)must always outweigh propriety. The more angry various segments of society are, the healthier the democracy is.

    McCain is an asshole, for the record.

    Posted by: Yeek | Aug 15, 2008 8:28:45 AM

  12. Crutchley wasn't merely an employee or a person elected to the board. He is a co-founder of the company. Expecting a corporate board to vet the politics of its founder is a little ridiculous. But now that those politics have become an issue for the company the board and his co-founder have taken action. Good for them.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 15, 2008 8:30:46 AM

  13. I like the response from Manhunt.

    Posted by: habitat67 | Aug 15, 2008 8:33:24 AM

  14. Who knew Manhunt had a board of directors?


    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Aug 15, 2008 8:41:38 AM

  15. Wow that was quick. Looks like Manhunt's going down.

    And not in a "good" way.

    Apparently customers hae been bailing faster than the first class passengers on the Titanic made a run for the lifeboats.

    Cue Celine Dion!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 15, 2008 8:42:23 AM

  16. BFD, he stepped down from the board. Bitch still gonna get his (blood) money.

    Posted by: Dallascracker | Aug 15, 2008 8:48:55 AM

  17. I would expect a wrongful termination lawsuit from Crutchley in the next few days depending on how the request for removal was worded. They may have a leg to stand on if it was "We will continue to lose membership if you remain on staff. It is up to you to decide..." My guess is that's not how it went, and I'm sure that Crutchley will be getting a golden parachute/continued payments from ManHunt's profits because he was a cofounder.

    Posted by: AD | Aug 15, 2008 8:53:08 AM

  18. Exactly how many people make up the board? I've NEVER seen a BOD move that fast! Holy crap! I worked for a company where the CEO was openly skimming cash and they kept him until the company went completely belly up, and he floated out with a hefty parachute.

    Something else is going on here. Somehow, I don't think "A vote for McCain" was all of it. The guy had never hid the fact that he was a log cabin republican.

    Posted by: Rad | Aug 15, 2008 9:02:57 AM

  19. The actions taken by the board are well-meaning, and Basile seems sincere... but he's missing the point.

    No one ever said that Manhunt, as a company, was a Republican-tied organization. The issue was with Crutchley, who is making contributions to right-wing political organizations with funds derived from Manhunt's profits.

    Crutchley can step down from the board, but it won't change the fact that he is still one of the owners of the company and is still making the same money from the website and is still perfectly free to support any candidate he chooses.

    Basile sounds like a mensch, but this well-meaning action doesn't address the issue.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 15, 2008 9:05:18 AM

  20. Not much be can said other than a) I am happy they are acting b) I glad to see people were able to say enough is enough and c) I feel sad for the obviously fucked up gay men along this thread and the other thread who couldn't, even with something like this, for a second see beyond their own internalized homophobia. It must be really hard to live your life this messed up. Straight or gay I wouldn't want to wish your existence on anyone. I just thank God that I am not as fucked up as you. I know others will argue with the more crazy posters, but I just feel sorry for you.

    Posted by: Craig | Aug 15, 2008 9:06:08 AM

  21. Removal from the board does not mean firing and/or denied profits. Mr. Crutchley will happily move aside to let his jointly owned company re-coop from this latest public relations fiasco. He does not care what the other board members have to say about his political habits as long as he continues to receive his profits. Would you?

    Do NOT think for one moment that he has given up ownership and those glorious profits that he receives for sex positive gay men.

    Mr. Crutchley will continue to support his causes, because the advertisers on the Manhunt website are where the profits are at. If you truly do not visit the site you will impact change.

    Far too many gay men from around the world have this need to be continually obsessed with looking for sex. To find validation in another person a virtual stranger is bizarre and limiting and addicting.

    It is really pathetic and sad that men like Crutchley has made millions from the LOW self esteem and the HIGH sex drives of gay men.

    Posted by: WTF | Aug 15, 2008 9:12:55 AM

  22. Since Crutchely co-owns the company him stepping down certainly won't result in any lawsuits. Trust me, his monthly percentage of the $2.4 MILLION per month will continue to be direct deposited.

    This is a business school study in crisis management PR and they failed. "How to squander 10 years of positive public relations for just $2300" Letting the first line responders in customer service get into a discussion or debate with paying members about the content of their profile? Canceling accounts when members emailed to inquire what was happening or for clarification? It's like a $30M ship of fools - they deserve all the bad press.

    They are like Starbucks, many profess that they can't live without it, but once the cost gets too high (financially in regard to Lattes and morally in regard to Manhunt) the marketplace will go elsewhere.

    Posted by: Mike Boston | Aug 15, 2008 9:15:31 AM

  23. By the way re the fucked in the head posters.

    I want to make something clear- your behavior isn't all that new. Minority groups always face a subgroup within the group which identifies more with those who oppress them than they do with the subgroup to which they belong. African Americans faced this. Etc. THe reason why I pity you is that there is a known pathos to it. It's not just that you are conservative- no- you've got to be more conservative than the conservative because you are trying to prove something to someone or something. That's a miserable existence. You think you are thinking for yourself, but you really aren't. The first sign of individuality is where you protect your own interest (a very supposedly conservative way to view the world) and that one controls ones own dollars as a consumer, and yet, what are you arguing here? You re so warped that you need to contort what is a consumer decision. Why does it matter so much to you that we conform to your warped version of reality? Is it that you know its fucked up so you want to convince us that you are right even when your own idealogical perspective would suggest you are wrong. Or don't you believe in the ability other people to choose besides yourself?

    Posted by: Craig | Aug 15, 2008 9:17:33 AM

  24. I'll state again - while I understand BOTH sides of the Issue...I steer more towards my Fellow Gay Citizens...the GOP NEVER stops wrking against US..IF it were up to them,we'd be Marginalized further..with little or NO rights/protections under the Law/of course witht her Help of thier so-called JESUS freaks,the same people that PERVERT religion beyond any recognition that I was taught as a child...LCR's ARE TRAITORS/GREEDY,Self-Loathers who Obviously have little or No compassion for thier LGBT comunity fellow citizens..thier GREED steers them. Sometimes YOU MUST take a stand....did some Blacks STILL take the BUS when they BOYCOTTED it..NO, they STUCK together as a group...for almost a year they walked,or found other means to get from here,to there....The LGBT community MUST stick together AGAINST THE GOP/and thier Crazy Fringe religious grps!

    Posted by: Disgusted Gay American | Aug 15, 2008 9:19:02 AM

  25. It's all about money. Manhunt began losing revenue and the Board had to act quickly before the situation really got out of hand. So this Log Cabin Republican is no longer the Chairman, but he's still collecting a huge salary, donating the big bucks to right wing organizations (maybe even more money now out of spite),is still an owner and laughing all the way to the bank. He's probably still a selfish, greedy and wicked man. In the future gay LCR's profiting from gay oriented businesses may be a little more discrete and not as antagonistic when caught.

    Posted by: Bob R | Aug 15, 2008 9:20:35 AM

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