By David Canfield
March 30, 2018 at 06:53 PM EDT
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images; Inset: Chronicle Books

John Oliver’s Marlon Bundo is still hopping strong.

Max Mutchnick, the Emmy-winning co-creator of Will & Grace, announced Friday on Instagram that he purchased 1,121 copies of John Oliver’s A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo — a number that covers “every public grammar school in Indiana,” which will each received a donated copy — in order to further the book’s inclusive message and push back against the “intolerance” spread by Vice President Mike Pence.

“With Easter upon us, I wanted to not only support the brilliance of John Oliver, but also celebrate the Gayest Bunny of Them All: The Easter Bunny,” Mutchnick wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller, Marlon Bundo emerged as a picture-book phenomenon following Oliver’s initial announcement of it on his show earlier this month. The book, which chronicles the love story between two “boy bunnies,” was produced in response to the Pence family’s own children’s book about their pet bunny; Oliver decided to spread a pro-LGBTQ message due to the vice president’s history of supporting anti-LGBTQ policies, such as pseudoscientific conversion therapy.

Within 24 hours, the book occupied the top spot on Amazon’s best-seller list, and by day two, had sold all 180,000 copies that were originally printed. It has been boosted by strong critical and reader reception, with praise going toward its inclusive message, and was even endorsed by Charlotte Pence, Mike’s daughter who wrote the original Marlon Bundo book.

Mutchnick concluded his Instagram announcement: “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.”

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo isavailable for purchase.

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