Mia Lawrie, a USF junior majoring in women’s and gender studies, agreed with Planned Parenthood’s recent decision to not accept $500,000 from the author, Tucker Max.
“Max’s donation put them in a bind, Lawrie said. “Though the money could have helped lots of people, it might have sent the wrong message. A lot of this is rooted in public relations.”
Planned Parenthood usually makes news headlines for their debatably “controversial practices”, but their cause was not questioned in the last week’s headline. An organization operating solely for women’s health and rights, accepting the money from Max would taint the public image of Planned Parenthood. Max required that if they accepted the money, they would have to name an abortion clinic after him.
Though women’s rights seem like the motivating factors for both Max and Planned Parenthood, public relations seems to have been the basis for the decisions of both sides.
Max is the author of the controversial books, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Assholes Finish First and several other titles indicating a funny yet risqué read. Though Max’s memoirs have been successful best-sellers his honesty has been consequential to his public image. Max’s memoirs detail the tales of his bachelor lifestyle including comments and actions which are sexually and emotionally degrading to women. Here is an example of his content.
Michael Mitrook, a USF professor of public relations, saw Max’s attempt to change his image as an empty offer.
One of Max’s public relations representatives, Ryan Holiday, responded to Planned Parenthood’s decision in an interview with Forbes. “This would have been a win-win-win-win situation,” Holiday said. Holiday included a variety of reasons for why the organization should have accepted the money such as, “rehabilitating Tucker’s PR and reducing his tax burden.”
Mitrook critiqued Max’s mention of the tax burden and request to have an abortion clinic named after him as not being a smart move. “Someone offers this knowing it’s going to be turned down,” Mitrook said. “It supports his less than positive image and nothing beyond that.”