Martin Avila, campaign manager for North Carolina Republican congressional candidate B. J. Lawson, had to issue an apology to Morgan Freeman after falsely stating Freeman recorded an ad for the candidate.
“This is terribly unfortunate and we apologize profusely to Morgan Freeman for what has happened. This is obviously not something we ever would want to misrepresent. Once we found out that our contracted advertisement was not narrated by Morgan Freeman, we immediately pulled our ads. Our campaign is comprised almost entirely of volunteers and we were presented with an opportunity to make a great ad — unfortunately these political mercenaries completely misrepresented their offering and contract with us to take our money,” said B.J. Lawson.
These people are lying. 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.
Rep. David Price, likely to retain his seat, weighed in:
“Lawson has lied to his supporters and to the community he wants to represent,” Price said in a statement calling on Lawson to pull down the ads. “This is an unfortunate and desperate attempt to fool voters in the last hours of a 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.”
Ben Mathis, who produced the ad, says Lawson knew all along it was a voice double.
“In conversation, I told him – as I would tell anyone – that you cannot go around telling people that it’s Morgan Freeman,” he said. “I didn’t expect that he was going to be going around telling people that this is Morgan Freeman. Perhaps he didn’t understand why he couldn’t do that.”
Here is the ad: