WASHINGTON — Actor Morgan Freeman is denying that he provided the narration for a Republican candidate’s political ad, saying that the campaign lied by claiming that he did.
“These people are lying,” said Freeman in a statement sent to The Huffington Post. “I have never recorded any campaign ads for B.J. Lawson and I do not support his candidacy. And, no one who represents me ever has ever authorized the use of my name, voice or any other likeness in support of Mr. Lawson or his candidacy.”
Lawson is running against Democratic incumbent Rep. David Price in North Carolina’s fourth congressional district. The ad in question is titled, “What is David Price Afraid Of?”
On Monday, the Lawson campaign put out a press release confirming Freeman’s participation in the ad and said that the actor was paid for his work.
“Barbara Streisand wouldn’t do it this, but Morgan Freeman doesn’t have a problem cutting ads against Washington insiders or he wouldn’t do it,” said Lawson campaign manager Martin Avila. “People shouldn’t be so shocked that someone like Mr. Freeman would think outside of the left-right red vs. blue dynamic. This election IS about regular people asking basic questions.”
The Lawson campaign did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post’s request for a response.
The Price campaign is calling on Lawson to immediately pull down his ads and apologize. “This is an unfortunate and desperate attempt to fool voters in the last hours of a campaign,” read a statement by the campaign. “By using Mr. Freeman’s good name, BJ Lawson has ruined his own, and he should be ashamed. Now the voters will decide whom they trust.”
UPDATE, 5:24 p.m.: This is not the first time there has been controversy over an ad narrated by “Morgan Freeman.” Recently, Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial candidate used an actor that sounded very much like Freeman to narrate one of its ads. The Awl wondered whether there was an intention by the campaign to knowingly mislead voters about the voiceover.
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