In what appears to be part of a campaign to help revamp Tucker Max’s image while lessening his tax burden, the misogynist “fratire” writer attempted to donate $500,000 to Planned Parenthood so that the women’s health organization would name a clinic after him. Planned Parenthood rejected the donation last August, apparently while Max was on his way to deliver the check. Max claims that his donation was not a stunt and that he agrees with Planned Parenthood’s mission.
But Max has a funny way of showing that support — what with his offensive tweets about Planned Parenthood and jokes that demean women — and Planned Parenthood made the right move in deciding to not accept his money. Officials should know that a donor has the organization’s best interests at heart. Instead of showing that, Max has joked that he’s paid for so many abortions that Planned Parenthood should name a clinic after him. When Max announced he was retiring from writing about sex and partying, he said he still stood by everything he had said, presumably including the anti-women jokes. So it makes sense that Planned Parenthood would turn him down when Max offers to donate enough money for them to name a clinic after him. It’s not worth it for the organization to then owe something to someone who hasn’t shown that he’s thinking in terms of Planned Parenthood’s best interest.
And as Feminste points out, Planned Parenthood officials would have risked angering other donors or opening themselves up to attack if they had been a part of Max’s publicity stunt. “They decided to avoid the risk that comes from taking money from Tucker Max — because if they took that money, their broader mission could be even more severely impeded,” Feminste’s Jill writes. And yes, Texas Planned Parenthood clinics, where Max tried to donate, could use the funding after Texas Republicans cut off Medicaid funds to the clinics. But the risks that came with naming a clinic after Max were not worth it. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Tait Sye told the Huffington Post that the organization’s donation gift policy spoke for itself. “Like many nonprofits, Planned Parenthood reserves the right to decline offers of gifts and grants that may be discriminatory, are for purposes outside of our mission, or are too difficult to administer,” Sye said.
Months after Max tried to write a check for the group, his press strategist Ryan Holiday took to Forbes yesterday to attack Planned Parenthood for turning down the money and re-frame his client’s public persona. “Planned Parenthood did to Tucker exactly what the Susan G. Komen Foundation had done to Planned Parenthood,” Holiday writes. “Let perception and moral superiority and BS politics get in the way of their real mission of helping people in need.”
But Planned Parenthood is standing by its mission. By refusing to take Max’s money, Planned Parenthood showed it learned an important lesson after the Komen controversy: not to rely on people who may not have its long-term best interests at heart, and who have agendas of their own. The organization still has donors willing to support it, and it will continue to survive the latest attacks by GOP politicians without Max’s $500,000.