John Oliver-Connected Satirical Children's Book to Benefit AIDS, LGBTQ-Related Causes
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A satirical children's book presented by the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver program is using U.S. vice-president Mike Pence's anti-gay bigotry to raise money for LGBTQ and AIDS-related causes.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, the John Oliver-supported illustrated book, follows a day in the life of Marlon Bundo, Bunny of the United States. Marlon falls in love with another male bunny, Wesley. When the two try to marry a villain name Stink Bug prevents same-sex marriage. Realizing this, Marlon and Wesley rally their animal friends to get Stink Bug voted out so they can be married. The book is credited as being written by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller.
In a move that was not at all a coincidence, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was released on March 18, a day before the scheduled release of Marlon Bundo's: A Day in the Life of the Vice President, a different children's book by written by Mike Pence's daughter Charlotte Pence and illustrated by his wife Karen Pence. The Pence-penned Bundo book is substantially less gay positive.
The Trevor Project is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention service established in 1998 for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24.
"This book has an important message for all LGBTQ youth: That they are worthy of love and should be proud of who they are. That's a message we can all believe in," said Amit Paley, the CEO of The Trevor Project, in a statement about A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. "We are so grateful to be the beneficiary of books sold. The funds raised through the sales of this book will help us continue to operate our 24/7 life-saving services for LGBTQ youth."
AIDS United is an organization that is working towards HIV/AIDS prevention in the United States through a number of means.
"We are so grateful to all those involved in the development of this story, and on behalf of the 1.1 million people living with HIV and the millions more at risk of infection in the U.S., we thank them for their generous support," added AIDS United CEO Jesse Milan, Jr. "By celebrating Marlon Bundo’s differences, the book’s authors have created a powerful tool for teaching young people the value of diversity."
A cast of high-profile entertainers including Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow, Jack McBrayer and RuPaul have signed on to voice the audiobook version of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.
Early signs indicate strong support for A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo and its message. The book debuted at #1 on the Amazon bestseller list. The Pence family Bundo book, meanwhile, debuted at #11.
Watch CNN's coverage of the competing bunny books
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.