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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 for Pete's sake, the threads on this topic have gotten way too twisted and bitter.

    Manhunt is an ENTERTAINMENT venue. In a culture (gay and otherwise) that is super-saturated with entertainment options, it is easy for those of us who have pulled our profiles and accounts to turn our attention and participation elsewhere (Towleroad, for instance has been much more entertaining this week--and you can't beat the price [thanks Andy!]). The free speech principles of the republic are not in jeopardy here, nor is the survival of the community organizations to which other Manhunt principals contribute, nor (I dare say) is Manhunt itself, nor is our ability to get ourselves laid. Don't forget that part of what makes/made Manhunt attractive are the profiles of its member (maybe not mine in particular, of course), and a lot of us have chosen no longer to participate on that score. Entertainment tastes change, often on the slightest pretext (e.g., you stop watching TV Land because they cut back the hours devoted to Hogan's Heroes). And this week, my tastes changed. The original Out article talks about how Manhunt likes to promote its "stickiness" with advertisers, i.e., the amount of time users spend online. Ultimately, as an entertainment option competing with many others, it may find that it is not quite as sticky as it would like to think.

    Posted by: Will | Aug 16, 2008 9:33:23 AM

  2. Looks like Crutchley's had a change of heart. Even if it was under duress...

    Posted by: ADC | Aug 16, 2008 10:56:36 AM

  3. These guys were the gay equivalent of Quislings. Accept our money, stab us in the back, and then cavort with their Republicon neocon buddies. It's time to send a message that these folks will not be allowed to destroy our rights with impunity. Time to shutdown Manhunt and its ilk.

    Posted by: Continuum | Aug 16, 2008 11:41:12 AM

  4. It is ironic that Gay sex is funding John McCain’s campaign.

    Rotello's larger point is this: sex obsessed Gay men are self-medicating their insecurities, alienating themselves, objectifying each other into abstraction and decimating Gay "communities" WHILE empowering the very hegemonic machine that seeks to destroy them.

    The fact that Larry Crutchley, one of the founders of Manhunt, is a committed Republican who has donated generously to the McCain campaign proves Rotello's larger point: attempting to assuage insecurity and self-loathing with obsessive behavior and careless choices will destroy you...and us.

    Using anything good (like sex, drugs or alcohol) to an ugly extreme is destructive (HIV, liver disease, addiction, death, etc). So, why use Manhunt if it supports Republican power and our own oppression? We can all have a lot of great sex without putting McCain in office, can’t we? In evolutionary terms unless we adapt better to our environment we will quickly become irrelevant…and extinct.

    Even without the whole Republican component to this story Gay men need to start thinking about how to have (a lot of great) sex as an expression of self-respect not low self-esteem.

    Maybe Jonathan Crutchley is just a shrewd businessman making investments to protect his company and bottom line. Republicans perpetuate anachronistic homophobia for political gain. Manhunt exploits the resultant fear, shame and self-loathing that disfigures normal sexual energy into anonymous sexual networks. Keeping Republicans in office guarantees no expansion of rights for anyone, especially The Gays. Therefore the shame spiral continues perpetuating the need for online sexual outlets, more headless naked pics and ass/dick shots. And Jonathan Crutchley keeps making more money.

    Reminds me of how McDonald’s aggressively markets to people of color…

    Posted by: Ben43 | Aug 16, 2008 12:03:26 PM

  5. Supposedly Crutchley has "seen the light" ... his donation was returned from McCain, and now he is supposedly giving the max amount to Obama, instead.

    Call me a skeptic, but I don't believe he's "seen the light" at all -- I think this is all PR/damage control. AND I rather suspect Obama will return any donation from him as well.

    Posted by: Nathanial | Aug 16, 2008 12:57:02 PM

  6. Oh ThatVegasStyleGuy, but I am sure all the commenters here think that everyone should have the right, yes including the Klan, to support anyone they please with their own money and efforts. However, they believe in that freedom so much that they don't want to fund someone who then funds, say, the Klan (your example), since it is their right to use their money in the way that they want. It is a consumer's power of the purse, and it is rightly exercised by rigthies and lefties and centrists the world over.

    Unlike the Justice Department profiling potential hires for permament government jobs (which explicitly breaks discrimination laws, laws which are actually supposed to be enforced by none other than the Justice Department), boycotting is not illegal discrimination, it is just informed consumerism.

    You can disagree as to whether Manhunt actually deserves this mass exodus of members simply because of this one guy's donations (especially given that the other founder donates Democratic), but you are entirely wrong to suggest that it is fascism to choose to direct one's own money. Thought-policing is fascism if it is sanctioned and enforced through the government; this, my friend, is just debate. You can decide whether it is healthy or hysterical, well or ill-informed, but it is still just open debate and rests on individual choice.

    Posted by: GBM | Aug 16, 2008 1:01:51 PM

  7. This is awful. If you democrats are ever tempted to think well of yourselves - don't.

    Posted by: Sam | Aug 16, 2008 1:51:45 PM

  8. Why is this even news?

    From reading some of the responses though, I suppose the message is tolerance for gays and lesbians is mandatory. Tolerance for, gasp, Republicans, not so much. It's funny how we're all for freedom and rights when it's our rights and it suits our purpose. As soon as someone makes a choice that we wouldn't, like say voting Republican, so long freedom, so long tolerance, so long acceptance.

    I say it's his money and he should be free to vote for and donate to any campaign he wants to.

    Posted by: Aiden | Aug 16, 2008 2:29:25 PM

  9. While you continually scream for "rights," what about the right of Crutchley to donate to whom he wants? If you are going to give him the boot for being Republican, then why cry when you get the boot for being gay? Sounds very hypocritical to me.

    Posted by: solstice | Aug 16, 2008 2:52:17 PM

  10. @ Aiden --

    No one is saying he's NOT free to donate and vote as he pleases; he just won't do it with our financial support. That's the Free Market™ at work, baby.

    Posted by: Nathanial | Aug 16, 2008 2:56:54 PM

  11. Solstice wrote: "While you continually scream for "rights," what about the right of Crutchley to donate to whom he wants?"

    No one is preventing that, except maybe his own Board.

    Solstice wrote: "If you are going to give him the boot for being Republican, then why cry when you get the boot for being gay? Sounds very hypocritical to me."

    Again, the only "boot" he got was from his own Board, not by us. We just chose to withdraw our financial support. And, as far as I'm aware, that Board is not giving anybody 'the boot' because they're gay.

    Posted by: Nathanial | Aug 16, 2008 3:04:22 PM

  12. These people are parasites who benefit from the hard work of liberals, some of whom have been murdered for their beliefs, MLK

    MLK was a Republican. Are you going to refuse to "benefit" from his hard work now?

    Posted by: George | Aug 16, 2008 3:11:50 PM

  13. As a proud gay republican, I'll be sending my own donation to McCain as a way of protesting this silly boycott.

    Posted by: GayRepub25 | Aug 16, 2008 3:49:27 PM

  14. I love all these "step and fetch it," "yes, massa" fags criticizing people for choosing to not support someone anathema to their beliefs.

    And MLK was certainly not a Republican, Georgie.

    Posted by: Jason | Aug 16, 2008 4:10:02 PM

  15. GAYREPUB25 --

    Why do you hate the Free Market™ so? Are you some kinda freedom-hating, un-American, wild-eyed commie?

    Posted by: Nathanial | Aug 16, 2008 4:15:54 PM

  16. Nathaniel, absolutely nothing wrong with the free market. I never said that people shouldn't be able to boycott manhunt. I just said that I found it silly.

    Posted by: gayrepub25 | Aug 16, 2008 7:50:28 PM

  17. The Republicans LOVE that our vote is split and we end up looking weak.
    We need to Unite for the dems, gay rights are at a pivotal point right now we don't have the luxury to play voodoo economics, and futile imperialism.

    Posted by: Ty | Aug 16, 2008 8:10:16 PM

  18. I cancelled my Manhunt account and told them why. I think alot of the progress in our community came from the power of our pocketbooks (remember how we got all the sponsors to back out of Dr. Laura's show?). Why not practice that INSIDE our community as well, by sending a message to this Manhunt owner? Great investigative journalism Andy, and I am so glad Signorile always helps you get the message out on Sirius OutQ Radio!

    Posted by: Tim Hennessey | Aug 16, 2008 9:02:47 PM

  19. Those choosing to cancel their manhunt accounts over this - do you really think it matters? Dem or Rep it makes no difference - we will never be free. Society today - all the hatred in the world. Do you really think a President can change the way society looks at us????

    Posted by: Manson | Aug 16, 2008 11:59:20 PM

  20. Why the double standard?? Condemning Crutchley for being Republican is no different than the discrimination so many of us received for being gay. It's unfair to him just as it is unfair to us!

    FYI: I'm a former Log Cabin Republican and also devout follower of the Religious Right who now leans left. (I call myself a "recovering Republican" who is now Progressive; I'm neither left nor right, conservative nor liberal.

    While I don't know what Mr. Crutchley was thinking when he donated to John McCain, I will defend his right to support whomever he believes is the best candidate. That's one of the things that makes America what it is! Of course, the GOP, and McCain in particular, are not considered allies of the GLBT community, yet there are still many within our community who choose to support the party and its various candidates. And that's their right in America. I see no reason why that should affect Mr Crutchley's or any other person's employment status, regardless of who he works for or what boards he sits on!!

    Posted by: timotito | Aug 17, 2008 2:57:13 AM

  21. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought all you Republican types were big proponents of "taking responsibility" and "living with the consequences of one's own actions".

    Well, Crutchley is having to live with the consequences of pissing off his client base by taking their money and using it to bankroll people who are determined to crush our civil rights. I would think you all would be SO HAPPY over this opportunity for Crutchley to *take responsibility* for his own actions.

    Posted by: Nathanial | Aug 17, 2008 5:58:00 AM

  22. I worked for as their Marketing Director for 2 years, launching the site domestically. Jonathan Crutchley is the majority shareholder in Online Buddies, Inc., the company that owns the Manhunt website. If he has stepped down from his position on the board, this is simply to try to quite any uproar within the gay community.

    In my experience with Jonathan, he was never one to shy away from or cover up the fact that he was conservative and proudly voted the Republican ticket.

    I will state that I support his right to make donations to and vote for whatever candidate he feel is deserving of his support. I also support his customer's right to disagree and vote with their collective economic power by canceling their paid memberships on Manhunt.

    It is exciting that through technology and the internet, issues such as this come to light and can be shared by millions of people in a short period of time. The irony is that the same technology that provides Jonathan Crutchley tens of millions in profits, is the one that reports his political beliefs to his community and customers.

    Posted by: Christopher Nutile | Aug 17, 2008 8:09:05 AM

  23. Oh my, I am confused. The right leaning or full on right wing posters here say JC should be able to do what he wants with his money but then criticize those in the gay community who choose to use (or withhold) THEIR money in whatever way they see fit.

    joe schmo can do what he wants with his money but joe schmo should know that if I, as one of his customers, learns that he is funding groups or persons who are harmful to me (and make no mistake a McCain presidency would be harmful to me and many many others all across the globe), I will stop being his customer.

    Why does that confuse your righties?

    P.S. On MLK being a republican:

    Steve Klein, a senior researcher with the Atlanta-based King Center, said Thursday that King never endorsed candidates from either party.

    "I think it's highly inaccurate to say he was a Republican because there's really no evidence," Klein said.

    A King biographer, Taylor Branch, also said Thursday that King was nonpartisan.

    Posted by: Timothy | Aug 17, 2008 8:27:52 AM

  24. All of this hasn't changed their site traffic a bit (
    That means they have the same ad income as before. And all this complaining has probably introduced the few gay men on earth who hadn't heard of the site to it.

    The board positions are largely ceremonial at a small closely held company. This "resignation" is lipstick on a pig.

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 17, 2008 9:47:23 AM

  25. I cancelled my Manhunt account and told them why. I think alot of the progress in our community came from the power of our pocketbooks (remember how we got all the sponsors to back out of Dr. Laura's show?). Why not practice that INSIDE our community as well, by sending a message to this Manhunt owner? Great investigative journalism Andy, and I am so glad Signorile always helps you get the message out on Sirius OutQ Radio!

    Posted by: Tim Hennessey | Aug 17, 2008 10:19:36 AM

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