A YouTube freelancer has condemned the ex-gay organization that hired her to produce a video announcing its rebranding effort.
Last week, the ex-gay professional network NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) announced it was launching a new organization that would take more of a legal approach to promoting the harmful, ineffective therapy, advocating for “clients’ rights” to a “therapeutic choice.” At the forefront of the new Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI) branding was a fake news video on NARTH’s websites announcing the change. For reasons that are still unclear, that video has since been removed from YouTube and all of NARTH’s websites. When asked to explain its disappearance, NARTH did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But ThinkProgress successfully reached out via email to Jean Hudson of Hudson MediaRoom, who produced the video. She had no information as to why NARTH was no longer using the video she produced for them, but was shocked to learn what the organization actually does.
Hudson was not familiar with NARTH’s background, and the brief script she was asked to read only announced the new organization and did not actually refer to the ex-gay therapy the group promotes. After learning of the group’s mission, she described it as “disturbing,” adding, “I can definitely say that if I had known, I wouldn’t have agreed to the video request.”
Hudson is a video freelancer who contracts with individuals to produce news clips for a variety of purposes, including news announcements, commercial promotions, and special occasions (birthdays, weddings, etc.). She told ThinkProgress that her video services were paid by a “dpruden,” which likely refers to David Clarke Pruden, who is vice president of operations for NARTH and was the president of Evergreen, a Mormon ex-gay ministry, until it closed earlier this year.
“The news of my video services used to promote a website that is reportedly anti-LGBT is very troubling,” Hudson told ThinkProgress. “First, I apologize to my friends, family, clients, and neighbors who are LGBT supporters. I have not and will not betray or have ever deceived you. You know me better.”
Referring to the video presentation she produced as a “small, really tiny disturbance” — particularly now that it’s no longer public — Hudson acknowledged that more must be done to advocate for the LGBT community. “Unfortunately,” she said, “there are bigger challenges to work out, contend with, educate, support, and follow.”