Georgia lawmaker Jason Spencer shouted racial slurs and dropped his trousers on the Who Is America? series
Georgia Republican representative Jason Spencer is the latest public figure to be “exploited” (his words) by Sacha Baron Cohen for the actor/provocateur’s new TV show, Who Is America?.
For a video Spencer thought would be used as “an educational aid to train elected officials who may be targeted by terrorists” – featuring Cohen disguised as an Israeli terrorism expert – he readily posed as a (horrendously racist) Asian tourist and repeatedly screamed the ‘N’ word.
He also dropped his trousers to demonstrate how (he believed) a terrorist could be warded off with the threat of being touched by his buttocks, yelling “USA motherfucker!” and “I’ll make you a homosexual!”.
The Republican has previously garnered criticism for his attempts to ban women from wearing burqas in public and for making racially-charged threats to a black former state legislator, but his appearance on Cohen’s show took the controversy to new heights, receiving significant (and obviously deserved) backlash.
“The actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive. There is no excuse for this type of behaviour, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it,” Georgia governor Nathan Deal tweeted.
Prior to the episode’s airing, Spencer released a statement in an attempt to do some damage control, writing that Cohen and his team “exploited my state of mind for profit and notoriet … This media company’s deceptive and fraudulent behaviour is exactly why President Donald Trump was elected. Furthermore, there are sensitive parts of this training that took place under a kidnapping scenario where I was repeatedly asked to shout provocative language which I requested be removed, but I was not afforded that opportunity to have final approval over footage used that was initially extended to me by the film makers.”
Since the clip was aired on July 23 it has gained over 4 million views on YouTube, and Spencer has been asked to step down from his post by Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, agreeing to make July 31 his last day in office in an official letter of resignation. Unfortunately, this isn’t much of a consequence since he lost a primary election in May, and so was slated to leave in January anyway.