Local Politics

Candidate 'duped' by promise of famous voice

Posted November 1, 2010
Updated November 2, 2010

A local Congressional candidate was disappointed Monday to find that a high-profile voice-over he paid for was not the real thing.

Republican congressional candidate B.J. Lawson's campaign touted the use of Morgan Freeman's distinctive voice in an e-mail to supporters Monday morning.

"The Lawson for Congress campaign confirms that its latest radio and TV ad is indeed narrated by actor Morgan Freeman," campaign manager Martin Avila wrote.

By 5 p.m., after a withering statement of denial from Morgan, Avila backed away from that statement.

B.J. Lawson campaign Candidate thought he had contract with actor

"These people are lying," Freeman said through his publicist. "I have never recorded any campaign ads for B.J. Lawson, and I do not support his candidacy. 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's opponent in the race to represent North Carolina's Fourth District, Democratic incumbent David Price, saw through the ad right away.

"Everything we know about Morgan Freeman suggests he is a strong supporter of the president," Price said. He said his campaign contacted Freeman's people to see if the ad was real.

After the discrepancy came to light, Avila produced a signed contract for "one Morgan Freeman radio commercial" signed by Benjamin Mathis of MEI Political. The document shows the campaign paid $4,500 for the ad.

“The Lawson campaign was shocked about what has happened and operated under the pretense that the ad was legitimate. Until today, we had no reason to believe the ad was not narrated by Morgan Freeman,” Avila said.

"I am going to honest and say I got duped," Lawson said.

Calls to Mathis and to MEI Monday night were not returned.

The Lawson campaign called media outlets to ask them not to run the ad, Avila said.

Price was not impressed. "Mr. Lawson needs to deal with this. (He) needs to apologize to the man," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • crazywater Nov 3, 2010

    Did any of you bother reading the contract on WRAL site? Number two Services says "MEI shall write and produce one Morgan Freeman radio commercial for L.F.C" ? Sounds like fraud to me...

  • mkg1047 Nov 2, 2010

    Disappointed in David Price's comments. B. J. Lawson should not apologize to anyone for believing he was contracting with the voice of Morgan Freeman. Shame on you David Price...I really didn't think you would stoop to this level of campaigning!!

  • Crucialcobversations Nov 2, 2010

    4500 hundered for a Morgan Freeman voice over?? He should have knew right away that it was not real, he would be looking at around 15,000 for the real thing!

    All these politicos are a joke!

  • bmg379 Nov 2, 2010

    somewhere in very small print it says,morgan freeman soundalike

  • dogluvr26 Nov 2, 2010

    "Much ado about nothing!! (unless of course you are a liberal/entitlement democrat)...then crying and screaming and YOU LIE, YOU LIE is in order!!!!"-GWALLY

    Puh-leeze. Get off the divisive, generalizing soap box. As a generally-liberal Democrat I do agree that this is "much ado about nothing". It doesn't matter which party this candidate represents. The contract flat-out states it's a Morgan Freeman ad, so I think Lawson had every reason to believe that was the case. While the ad company wants to deny it, the fact is that they mis-represented and they were caught big time. And, while this may come as a shock to you, I personally don't think Price's opinion on this matters. Who does Lawson have to apologize to? No one. The ad company, meanwhile, should be issuing a big, fat apology. (However, that would be admitting guilt & their attorneys have probably advised them against that one.)

  • GWALLY Nov 2, 2010

    Much ado about nothing!! (unless of course you are a liberal/entitlement democrat)...then crying and screaming and YOU LIE, YOU LIE is in order!!!!..now lets see...where have I heard that "you lie" thingy before?????

  • Proud Black Constitutionalist Nov 2, 2010

    Yes sir, today is a great day to be a conservative in the best country on earth!

  • Card Player Nov 2, 2010

    Have any of you who are calling Lawson a liar looked at the contract? It backs up what he is saying. He has a signed contract for a "Morgan Freeman" commercial.

    You all are pathetic.

  • PlanetX Nov 2, 2010

    "Mr. Freeman is busy politicking here in California IN PERSON to supporting Prop 19 (to legalize Marijuana in CA). The notion of him supporting right-wing Mr. Lawson in li'l ol' NC is laughable. Does ANYONE down there use a brain?" -- pirmin

    WOW - the state of California spends $XXX billion a year supporting, educating, housing and caring for illegal aliens and you have the nerve to ask if WE use a brain "down here"?? WOW - just WOW....what a joke. Smokin' some of that stuff you're trying to legalize perhaps?

    You are correct on one point though-flaming liberal that Mr. Freeman is, he would not ever endorse a conservative candidate.

  • Sherlock Nov 2, 2010

    He got what the voters get all the time, makes you mad and the problem is that you can do something about it now and the voterrs can not.