April 4, 2018
The creator of Will and Grace is donating Marlon Bundo books to every grammar school in Indiana
by Stephanie DeLuca
Over the past few weeks, we’ve written quite a bit about Marlon Bundo, Mike Pence’s pet bunny and the star of two recent picture books — one by the Pence family, and another by the writers of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Because Pence is, well, a nauseating homophobe, the Last Week Tonight version shows Marlon finding gay love and living happily ever after. And then, because Oliver initially made his version available only through Amazon, indie booksellers were, understandably, hopping mad (sorry).
The story seemed to be over, but turns out there’s an epilogue.
As David Canfield reports at Entertainment Weekly, Max Mutchnick, the creator of the television show Will and Grace, has bought 1,121 copies of Oliver’s book (written by Jill Tweiss), and plans to donate one to every public school in Indiana.
Mutchnick announced the news on his Instagram account, saying that he intends to fight back against the homophobia and intolerance that Pence promotes, particularly in Indiana — Pence’s home state, where he was governor from 2013 through 2017. Mutchnick wrote, “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.”
Will and Grace is often credited with introducing many Americans to openly gay characters for the first time in the nineties. It was one of the few TV shows at the time to do so. Even more exceptionally, there was no big coming-out episode, and the show wasn’t marketed narrowly to the LGBTQ community.
With this donation, Mutchnick continues to ensure that gay characters are visible and that LGBTQ people see themselves represented in the media. He wrote, “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.” You can raise your Karen Walker martini glass to that.
Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.