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Bob’s Burgers writer Wendy Molyneux hated the HBO series Entourage — so much so that she joked to her husband that someone would have to pay her $10,000 to see the upcoming big-screen version.
The Internet took her up on the offer.
On a lark, Molyneux set up a GoFundMe drive on March 26, setting a $10,000 goal to force her “to see the worst movie of the year and possibly our lifetime.” She figured she’d get a laugh from friends and get them to chip in a few hundred dollars for CureSearch, a non-profit dedicated to childhood cancer research. Just as importantly, she would likely not have to watch Entourage.
Instead, Molyneux hit her goal in the first day, and the campaign has currently raised $14,695 from 256 donors. “Well, this has not worked out very well,” Molyneux posted in an update Thursday. “Thanks to all of the terrible people I know and a bunch of awful strangers I’ve NEVER EVEN MET WHO CARE ABOUT CHILDREN’S CANCER, I’ve reached 10K in one day. … If for some reason this goes on all the way to 20K I am going to have to see this movie twice. TWICE.”
These horrible friends and strangers include Eric Stonestreet, Megan Mullaly, Nick Offerman, Christina Applegate, Eugene Mirman and even Turtle himself, Jerry Ferrrara. Reward levels for the campaign, which ends when Entourage opens June 3, start at $5 (D-Bag Level) to receive photographic proof of Molyneux watching the movie through the $15,000 Ultimate Turtle Level, in which donors will watch the movie with her as well as receive a home-baked cake and a Molyneux-autographed photo of either Turtle or a turtle.
The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Molyneux about her surprisingly successful campaign:
How did the idea for this campaign come together?
This whole thing started as a joke. I joked with my husband that someone would have to pay me 10 grand to see Entourage, and then I thought it would be funny to actually ask people to do that. Of course, I would never keep that money so CureSearch was designated to receive the donation if anyone gave, thinking that I’d wind up giving a few hundred bucks to CureSearch and not seeing the Entourage movie. And then the Internet happened. Have you heard of the Internet? I’m new to it, but I think it’s gonna catch on.
How would you describe your reaction to hitting your goal in one day? How many of the donors are strangers — do you have any idea how they learned about this?
I was more surprised than Johnny Drama would be if he got the lead in Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy 2: Drug More Cowboy. In other words: Very surprised. Many, many wonderful, horrible friends and even more awful, fantastic strangers are forcing me to see this movie. The campaign spread to strangers on Twitter via a couple lucky retweets, and on Facebook to family and friends — I mean, FORMER friends.
What have you learned about humanity from this GoFundMe campaign so far?
Apparently the world is full of absolute monsters who would rather help find a cure for pediatric cancers than prevent me from seeing Ari Gold riding around on a white tiger eating sushi and money with Lloyd — I assume that’s what this movie is about. Whatever, humanity!
Have you gotten any sort of blowback or other interesting (positive or negative) reactions from industry colleagues about your public anti-Entourage stance?
I think people are getting the joke and being super generous. Jerry Ferrara gave a huge donation and tweeted about it. And his brother donated too! I am now endorsing everyone seeing the Entourage movie, but keeping their eyes closed except for the Turtle parts.
— Jerry Ferrara (@jerrycferrara) May 28, 2015
You’ve already said you will drink out of your sister’s custom-made Turtle cup if the campaign reaches $15K, and see the movie twice if it hits $20K. Any other stretch goals in mind?
I’m already going to be wearing a pair of Drama Mama Pajamas and (hopefully) carrying my Turtle soda cup. If there continues to be momentum, I guess anything could happen. I could have to officially change my name to Matterhorn Medellin and get calf implants on my face. Sky’s the limit!
And finally, real talk: Why did you choose CureSearch as the beneficiary of your campaign?
This is the realest of real talk. Two years ago, my nephew Oliver Cross lost his life to leukemia. He was an amazing, sweet, smart five-year-old goofball and it was an unmitigated, unfair tragedy that changed our family forever. CureSearch focuses on finding cures exclusively for children’s cancers. My sister and brother-in-law chose this charity because no child should ever go through this nightmare. We’re super grateful to anyone who gave money in the past few days. The gaping maw of the Internet will soon swallow this silly joke, but I hope people will keep giving to this and other pediatric cancer charities. I guess the message is: Be the Turtle you want to see in the world.
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