Yancey Strickler, CEO of the fundraising site Kickstarter, sent a tweet to Breitbart News Thursday claiming that a story published that same day about his fundraising company Kickstarter is incorrect.
Strickler claims he did not reject a project submitted by filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer that was intended to raise money for a film about abortion doctor and serial killer Kermit Gosnell. In the tweet, Strickler included a copy of the acceptance letter [see below].
— Yancey Strickler (@ystrickler) April 3, 2014
Using Twitter, McAleer responded quickly [I’ve cleaned up the text; original is embedded below.], “We withdrew, you got media inquiries and then sent [the acceptance letter] to cover your hypocrisy.”
— Phelim McAleer (@PhelimMcAleer) April 3, 2014
The timeline certainly backs up McAleer’s claim. Regardless, I don’t know of anyone who would read that Kickstarter letter of acceptance [see above] as anything close to a letter of acceptance.
At the bottom, the letter contains a major disclaimer that still allows Kickstarter to pull the Gosnell project from its website over anything they find objectionable. That is not an “acceptance” Rather, it’s a “Go ahead and publish but we’ll still pull it if or unless…” letter.
The only thing that would ultimately prove Kickstarter accepted the project is if they had sent a letter stating that as submitted the Gosnell project met Kickstarter’s guidelines. But based on the correspondence between Kickstarter and the filmmakers the day before, the acceptance letter offered absolutely no assurance and resolved nothing.
Two emails sent from Kickstarter to McElhinney and McAleer less than 24 hours prior to the time stamp on the so-called “acceptance letter” raised major objections to the Gosnell project’s use of the phrase “1000s of babies stabbed to death.”
Furthermore, both emails made clear that without the removal of that phrase, the project would not meet Kickstarter’s community guidelines.
Nothing in the acceptance letter suggests that Kickstarter had changed its mind about the dispute. Therefore, the disclaimer in this so-called acceptance letter would allow Kickstarter to both “accept” the project and still remove it over the “1000s of babies stabbed to death” wording.
No reasonable person would consider such a thing an “acceptance letter.”
Combine this with the fact that the same day Kickstarter emailed its acceptance letter, The Hollywood Reporter dropped its story about the Gosnell movie that included the filmmakers’ complaints about being censored by Kickstarter.
If, as McAleer claims, Kickstarter received media inquiries before emailing the acceptance letter, not only is the acceptance letter definitely not what it claims to be, it was cynically motivated as a CYA public relations maneuver to muddy the waters of the fundraising site’s behavior.
Ultimately, the Gosnell project was moved to Indiegogo. You can support the fundraising effort here.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC