Morgan Freeman shot down reports on Monday that he narrated a campaign ad for Republican congressional candidate B.J. Lawson.
Freeman’s statement directly contradicts one issued by the Lawson campaign, which earlier in the day said that the actor had narrated a recent television spot. Lawson’s campaign manager told reporters that the actor was paid a reduced rate for his voiceover work.
“These people are lying,” Freeman 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 ever has ever authorized the use of my name, voice or any other likeness in support of Mr. Lawson or his candidacy."
News that Freeman was throwing his support, not to mention his distinctive voice, behind a conservative congressional candidate set the blogosphere aflame on Monday.
Had the Oscar-winning actor, well known for his support of liberal causes, really embraced North Carolina Republican B.J. Lawson?
Yes, said Lawson’s camp. In a statement on Monday, the campaign said that the rich baritone narrating an ad slamming Lawson’s opponent, the 22-year incumbent David Price, did indeed belong to Freeman.
"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," Lawson for Congress Campaign Manager Martin Avila said in a statement. "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."
Lawson’s campaign did not immediately respond to Freeman’s denial, but the advertisment has been pulled off YouTube.
Lawson is currently in a tight race with Price for North Carolina’s 4th District congressional seat, although the Democrat is widely expected to win.
As for Freeman, he has donated some $7,400 to Democratic candidates over the years, most recently donating $2,300 and endorsing Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.