Will & Grace showrunner sends book about Mike Pence’s gay bunny to every school in Indiana
Will & Grace showrunner Max Mutchnick has bought more than a thousand copies of a book about VP Mike Pence’s gay bunny – to send one to every school in Indiana.
Vice President Mike Pence’s family this month released a book about his family’s bunny, titled ‘Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President’.
In a protest against his anti-LGBT policies, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver penned his own imitation book ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’ – which portrays the bunny as gay and seeking the right to marry his bunny lover.
The book has earned a large following, and Will & Grace creator Max Mutchnick this week used it to send a message to Mr Pence, who has opposed LGBT-inclusive education.
The TV exec has bought more than a thousand of copies of the book, which raises money for LGBT causes, and sent them to every elementary school in Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana.
He said: “With Easter upon us, I wanted to not only support the brilliance of John Oliver, but also celebrate the Gayest Bunny of Them All: The Easter Bunny.
“So I decided to buy a copy of Oliver’s ‘Bundo’ (written by Jill Twiss) for every public grammar school in Indiana. All 1,121 of them.
“Here’s why: Mike Pence has had an enormous platform in Indiana, and as it relates to gay people, he’s used it to spread a message of intolerance.
“By donating these books, I hope to counter those efforts and provide positive role models and a story of inclusion for children in Pence’s home state.
“If this book can help one boy or girl in Indiana love and accept who they are, I know both Marlon Bundos would be proud—even though one of them is on the downlow.”
In a letter to the school librarians, he wrote: “I would like to donate this copy of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo to your library.
“After hearing about the book, I brought it home and read it to my twin daughters. It’s a poignant story about how love and community can rise above intolerance.
“My grammar school library was something I always remembered as a safe haven. Books allow children to dream and hope, but you know that already.
“Thanks to libraries and librarians like you, storytelling not only became my passion — it also became my profession. I hope your students enjoy this book as much as my family and I did.”
The move is poignant given the dire state of sex and relationship education in Indiana, which requires schools to teach to a fundamentalist ‘abstinence only’ curriculum.
All proceeds from Oliver’s book go to LGBT suicide charity The Trevor Project and AIDS United – two causes Pence is highly unlikely to get behind, given his atrocious record on HIV/AIDS and LGBT rights.
The book championed by Oliver, about a gay rabbit with a rainbow bow-tie who falls in love, previously became the number-one bestseller on Amazon – three places above the Pences’ book.
Not only is it outselling the original, but the Last Week Tonight book has more than 3,000 five-star ratings, whereas the Pence book has a mere 56 reviews.
Oliver hit out at the Pence book’s upcoming tour, which will involve a stop with Focus on the Family – a group which has promoted gay ‘cure’ therapy.
He explained that the Pences’ family rabbit was the “most likeable thing about an otherwise unlikable man”.
When Oliver introduced the book, he said: “Now, there are a few small differences between the two books… Our Marlon Bundo is gay.”
The comedian then described the story as a “very special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.”
The online description reads: “Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence – the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon’s life is about to change forever…
“With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children’s book explores issues of same-sex marriage and democracy.
“Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.”
Oliver also released a star-studded Marlon Bundo audiobook, which features celebrities Jim Parsons, Ellie Kemper, RuPaul, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and is now available online.
It’s not just Oliver who has been trolling the Veep.
Elsewhere this month, protesters in Georgia welcomed the divisive Vice President by covering the town in rainbow flags.
A group of protesters attended the St Pat’s parade route with rainbow flags, while even some local businesses decided to put up flags for the occasion.
According to LGBT activists, Pence spent less than an hour at the St Patrick’s Day festivities, pursued along the way by LGBT rights campaigners who “made sure there were rainbows in every photo op”.
Ahead of the event, Savannah Pride, First City Network, and Savannah LGBT Center issued a joint statement noting Pence’s record.
They wrote: “As members of Savannah’s LGBTQ community, we are troubled by our public officials’ welcoming of Vice President Mike Pence.
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“Mr Pence has proved himself to be one of the most anti-LGBTQ political crusaders to serve in government. As governor of Indiana, he led a concerted effort to deny equality to LGBTQ people, opposing gay marriage and signing into law a bill that made it legal for businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers.
“As a member of Congress, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, co-sponsored a bill to define marriage between a man and woman, and sought to cut off HIV funding to organizations that did not encourage the reprehensible practice of gay ‘conversion therapy’.
“These attacks have continued with at least two dozen actions by the current administration against LGBT people, including those serving in our armed forces.
“Ordinarily, there is no place for his brand of discrimination in Savannah. However, this weekend, he will feel right at home at the largest St Patrick’s Day Parade in America that discriminates against LGBTQ organizations.
“We Savannahians are proud of our diversity, so we welcome Vice President Pence to join our interracial gay families raising adopted children, trans service members proudly defending their country, queer artists inspiring creativity, immigrant students dreaming of a bright future with a same-sex spouse, and the many other faces of the Hostess City that will be proudly lining the streets this weekend.”