Morgan Freeman Doesn't Approve This GOP Message : It's All Politics A Republican House candidate used a voice double of the actor in an anti-Democrat ad. Bad idea. The Hollywood star issued an angry statement denouncing the ad.
NPR logo Morgan Freeman Doesn't Approve This GOP Message

Morgan Freeman Doesn't Approve This GOP Message


Actor Morgan Freeman doesn't approve the ad of Dr. B.J. Lawson, the Republican challenger to Democrat Rep. David Price of North Carolina's 4th Congressional District.

Lawson's campaign ran a negative ad featuring a Freeman sound-alike who was trying to put across the idea that Price was a loyal minion to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The agency that provides voice doubles of celebrities wanted voters to say to themselves, "Hey, I know that voice. It's comforting and reassuring and whatever it says must be true."

As the Washington Post reports:

Morgan Freeman... was the perfect choice to narrate an ad for B.J. Lawson, a Republican running for Congress in North Carolina.

One small problem: Freeman's a Democrat and unlikely to work for a GOP candidate. So MEI Political hired a "voice double" to do the ad, which debuted Friday. "The audience never notices the difference," wrote a company consultant in an e-mail to Lawson. "It's one of those little secrets of Hollywood. We've used them with great success in political ads. We of course never say that they are the actual celebrity, but voters recogniz[e] their voice and trust it..."

Unfortunately for MEI and Lawson, the real Freeman wasn't exactly flattered. Again from the WaPo:

... "These people are lying," he said in a statement. "I have never recorded any campaign ads for B. J. Lawson and I do not support his candidacy. And, no one who represents me has ever authorized the use of my name, voice or any other likeness in support of Mr. Lawson or his candidacy."

Oops. It's never a good idea to have the real actor with the real trusted voice call you and your campaign liars right before Election Day. But with the kind of wave all the experts are expecting tonight, it may not matter.