The freelance producer and star of a video for a group that promotes “ex-gay” therapy says she was shocked to learn of the organization’s purpose — and if she had known of it, she would not have taken on the project.
The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality last week launched a rebranding effort, announcing that it had become part of a new coalition called the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity. The alliance bills itself as “a multi-disciplinary professional and scientific organization dedicated to preserving the right of individuals to obtain the services of a therapist who honors their values, advocating for integrity and objectivity in social science research, and ensuring that competent licensed, professional assistance is available for persons who experience unwanted homosexual (same-sex) attractions.” A video on the alliance’s website, designed to look like a news broadcast, was a key feature of the announcement.
Jean Hudson of Hudson Media Services, who produced and appeared as a newscaster in the video, now tells ThinkProgress she did not know what the organization 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,” Zack Ford at ThinkProgress reports.
“I can definitely say that if I had known, I wouldn’t have agreed to the video request,” she told the site, adding, “The news of my video services used to promote a website that is reportedly anti-LGBT is very troubling. 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.”
The type of therapy NARTH advocates, designed to turn gay people straight, is denounced by all major scientific organizations as both ineffective and harmful. California and New Jersey have passed laws prohibiting state-licensed professionals from using the therapy on minors, and several other states are considering such bans.
Hudson’s video has now been removed from YouTube and all of NARTH’s websites, and NARTH has yet to respond to ThinkProgress’s request for an explanation. Hudson’s company produces videos for a variety of purposes, including advertising, as well as birthday and anniversary celebrations.