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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. oh, another thing.

    online cruising (at least in NYC) only works if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of gay men. in my corner of Brooklyn there aren't a whole lot and most guys don't really feel like commuting for a hookup (and I can understand that) and setting a date to hookup in the future always seems weird.

    so i tend to find bars more democratic (i.e., you don't have to be able to afford expensive real estate to hookup. just the price of a subway ride and a couple drinks).

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 15, 2008 11:25:48 AM

  2. Yeah well Manhunt is on the decline so this comes as no surprise.

    Check out Much better and you can actually see people and not just their Di??s.

    Posted by: John | Aug 15, 2008 11:30:37 AM

  3. @ Alex: Agreed; though I really hate the Cock (the bar, not the appendage).

    My longest lasting relationship (11 years) came about by being set up by mutual friends. My last relationship (4 years) was a Manhunt hookup that went on and on...

    Posted by: Mark in NYC | Aug 15, 2008 11:37:25 AM

  4. I can also confirm that our bearded daddy hosts is a serious spanking fetishist who hosts spanking parties. He lives in JP behind the old Post Office.

    Posted by: dave | Aug 15, 2008 11:42:18 AM

  5. People can spend their money any way they choose. It's his right to give to McCain...and unethical for him to have been asked to step down.

    If people don't like it, they can spend their money elsewhere.

    Posted by: JoshEV | Aug 15, 2008 11:51:43 AM

  6. Joshev, you're right that he can spend his money any way he likes. I think the board was right to ask him to step down from the chairman position (no one has said whether he resigned from the board altogether). His public behavior related to his political donations caused a PR crisis that has likely cost the company quite a bit of money in lost revenue and consultants' fees. It would bring into question the stability of his decision-making processes, which is not a good quality in a board chairman.

    And yes... people didn't like it. And lots of them are indeed spending their money elsewhere.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 15, 2008 12:08:31 PM

  7. Window dressing!

    A private company like that, that is SELF FUNDED, likely only have 3-4 board members. Its easier to set up a conference call like that and say "McDoucheBag you need to resign".

    Furthermore, he has not sold his stake in MH. So your pink dollars continue to go to Republican coffers.

    Posted by: Landis | Aug 15, 2008 12:28:09 PM

  8. Well, I've seen no proof that Obama has done anything or said anything to support gay rights. Not doing anything or saying anything about gay rights is not the same as supporting the GLBT community. And any political candidate can say they have gay "friends" or invoke gay rights in a speech, but it doesn't mean they're going to do anything for us.

    However, Crutchley, maybe while not being asked to step down, certainly should be made to feel like the complete shithead he seems to be -- self-hatred and internalized homophobia are what fuel these kinds of misguided behaviors.

    Heck those personality attributes seem to be what fuel about a third of the men who come to Manhunt anyway -- self-hating, half or fully closeted men looking for "no strings" hook-ups. So who knows -- some pot calling the kettle black irony there. Still, it's the 21st century -- I've completely over GLBT self-hatred and actions such as Crutchley's that perpetuate it at the cost of social evolution. Is money that much more important than people and civil rights?

    Posted by: mr radon | Aug 15, 2008 12:34:20 PM

  9. If Basile and his fellow non-Republican Manhunt owners really want to salvage this situation, throwing Crutchley off the board ain't gonna cut it.

    They need to put their money where their mouths are and buy Spanky out.

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 15, 2008 12:34:39 PM

  10. Its all about the bottom line. What Crutchley did put the company at risk...what did he expect. Moral of the story...don't take my money and stab me in the back at the same time and then expect me not to respond. If he were here right now I would hit him with my purse.

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 15, 2008 12:36:14 PM

  11. Today is zee veectory for zee nazi absolutists! Vee have clamped down on zee evil freedom of choice in zee voting! Zees eez good for the party! Zeig Heil!

    Posted by: Zeig Heil! | Aug 15, 2008 12:37:24 PM

  12. Its all about the bottom line. What Crutchley did put the company at risk...what did he expect. Moral of the story...don't take my money and stab me in the back at the same time and then expect me not to respond. If he were here right now I would hit him with my purse.

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 15, 2008 12:38:58 PM

  13. Can you imagine if someone was fired from a Walmart because of their voting for Obama (see recent news about Walmart's anti-Obama stance) ? It would be a huge scandal. But somehow we think its okay that if they don't agree with us its fine for someone to lose their job. That's un-American and offends me. Gay people are in much more danger in a country where anyone can be vilified for their party preference. This is not positive news, it is positively disgusting and people should be ashamed of themselves. BTW, I'm for Obama. I've given him money. I hope I still have a job tomorrow.

    Posted by: Horrified | Aug 15, 2008 12:49:33 PM

  14. Amen Horrified!!!! The hypocrisy of it all reaks and just adds to my being against the far left, who are just as intolerant as the far right.

    Posted by: jby | Aug 15, 2008 12:58:45 PM

  15. I think the issue here is more that we all have a choice. He absolutely has the right to make this donation, and the consumers who his company has targeted and made millions off of have the right to not provide anymore money to him. I don’t agree with all the angry rhetoric on both sides being thrown about, but at this time in history gay men and women need to look at all the issues. Yes military strength is an important issue, as is the economy and the environment, but this election is becoming evermore a decision between inclusion or exclusion for us. As McCain moves further to the right in an attempt to fool the conservatives that he has some sort of moral leg to stand on, we will lose. We have to look at this with a long view, all we have worked for to just be seen as humans by a majority of the population will be undone by another conservative appointment to the supreme court, by a veto of a simple non-discrimination bill. So after some rambling my point comes down to this: Yes I will defend to the death his right to support McCain, but I will also yell at the top of mountains against the shear stupidity of the act.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 15, 2008 1:00:59 PM

  16. Oh for Chrissake, Horrified... you guys are completely missing the point. No one is asking him to be fired because he's gonna vote for McCain. And no one thinks it's okay that someone loses their job because they don't agree with us. You're making a sophomoric conceptual error here.

    The problem is the fact that many of this man's customers feel manipulated and betrayed, not to mention insulted at his snarky characterization of "liberals". It's one thing to have the freedom to say what you want and vote how you please... it's quite another to head up a company that purports to be "gay owned and operated" and then turn around and give financial and moral support to right wing political organizations. Come on now... you really don't see the difference between what this man has done and some kid being fired from Walmart because he voted for Obama?

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 15, 2008 1:02:42 PM

  17. After reading the statement from Basile, I admit to feeling a teeny, tiny bit sad that he has to suffer because his business partner curried favor with a man who oppresses the GLBT community. However, Basile likely knew exactly who he was getting into bed with when he founded the business with Crutchley, so my pity for Basile only goes so far.

    As for Crutchley's being removed from the board, I'm glad to see that towleroad posters are smart enough to realize that removing Crutchley from the board of directors does nothing to cut off his revenue stream. Though we'll likely never know exactly how much stock he owns in Manhunt because of its status as a privately held company, he's probably getting roughly half of that $2.4 million that rolls in every month from the pockets of gay and bisexual men.

    Let's continue to spread the word that Manhunt is owned by a gay Republican who gave the maximum donation allowed to a U.S. Presidential candidate who voiced support for the CA ballot initiative that would take away the right of marriage from GLBT citizens in California, who supports DADT, who supports DOMA, who opposes ENDA and who doesn't even know what GLBT stands for!

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 15, 2008 1:04:16 PM

  18. Hey David Ehrnstein I couldn't agree more with you. They noted Crutchley stepped down as chairman from the board. Is he still a board member? And no mention of who the new chairman is.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 15, 2008 1:06:48 PM

  19. I agree that it is appalling that this man is taking money from us and using it to fund the very people who hate us and want us fully stripped of human rights. I realize it is the principle involved here, but the $2300 donation will probably be given back by the McCain crowd, he'll disappear into the mists of history and blogs, and the issues that Gross raised in the original article will remain. I think it would serve gay men better if we focused on the use of these technologies to build better relationships and to rebuild or strengthen our sense of community and gay men's culture. A few days ago, I blogged a response to the original article at

    Thanks for taking a moment to read my comment.

    Posted by: James | Aug 15, 2008 1:23:17 PM

  20. BTW: the letter says he stepped down as "Chairman", not that he resigned from the board.

    Anyone have any idea if he's actually still on the board (just not as Chairman)? Also, any idea if he holds any other position at the company? Not unusual for a founder to be "Chairman and President" for example. Could be that he's still on the Board, as well as holding senior operating position at the company. Just sayin.

    Posted by: darb | Aug 15, 2008 1:40:33 PM

  21. Well, I've decided to weigh in. Now, this is coming from a self-loving, proud gay Democrat. However, reading through some of these posts, it occurs to me that fascism, like terrorism, is a tactic and not an ideology. For the most part, the comments are very one-sided and, for the record, I happen to agree with them largely. So to play devil's advocate, let me throw this out there.

    Larry's statement and actions on behalf of the left seem to far outweigh those of his partner on the right. This doesn't erase the damage Crutchley did, but it's certainly worth consideration. From what I gather, Manhunt is about 99% Democrat. We know for certain of only one employee (granted, a MAJOR one) who has conservative leanings. Yet we're all condemning an almost completely left-leaning (my assumption) company for having one Republican on staff. I understand the points that he is profiting more than most from the money we spend on the site, and that a company targeting a gay demographic is different from, say, Domino's pizza.

    But I wonder if we could find any other company that would take our money with fewer Republicans in a position to profit. Honestly, I don't know what more we can expect of them. Crutchley is a founder/owner of a private company. Apart from his leaving voluntarily (which I seriously doubt) I'm not sure what all they can do about him. I'm sure he's not very popular at Manhunt's headquarters in liberal Cambridge, MA these days. And my guess is that most of Manhunt's Democrat employees had no idea where their boss' political sympathies lay. How many of us do?

    Anyway, just my $.02 (adjusted for Bush inflation)...

    Posted by: Grey | Aug 15, 2008 1:53:15 PM

  22. From what I hear he's not on the board. Larry Basile is the President and Adam Segel is the CEO.

    Posted by: Jim | Aug 15, 2008 1:54:59 PM

  23. Call me nostalgic, but I still remember the good old days of (now Manhunt just isn't as much fun as it used to be.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 15, 2008 1:56:34 PM

  24. Why is it that the one's commenting here to protest people's having an opinion about Crutchley's foolhardy donation and anti-liberal comments never seem to have read any of the other comments?

    They repeat the same tired arguments (or in Zeig Heil!'s case, tired false analogies) and never seem to stick around to have their bull**** taken apart. It is maybe a fear of reason?

    As for the release from McManhunt, I'd think it would have been more beneficial for them if they had announced some kind of permanent system for sharing their profits with gay-friendy charities. Crutchley has been asked to step down, great, it's the LEAST they could do given his idiotic comments. I'd expect nothing less. But where's the commitment to the community?

    Posted by: UnionStay | Aug 15, 2008 1:59:13 PM

  25. "We know for certain of only one employee (granted, a MAJOR one) who has conservative leanings."

    Grey, He's NOT AN EMPLOYEE! Could you please read the comments before posting? INFORM yourself.


    Posted by: UnionStay | Aug 15, 2008 2:09:17 PM

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