Under the Dome

Morgan Freeman says it's not his voice in Lawson's ad

Actor Morgan Freeman denied Monday that it is his voice in an ad for GOP Congressional candidate B.J. Lawson attacking Democratic incumbent David Price.

"These people are lying," said Freeman, according to a statement released by his public relations firm in Los Angeles. "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."

Lawson could not immediately be reached for comment.

The voice in the ad sounds like Freeman and the Lawson campaign issued a statement Monday saying that it was indeed the Academy Award-winning actor, whose instantly recognizable voice has such gravitas he has twice been cast in movies playing the role of God.

“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," said Martin Avila, Lawson's campaign manager. "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."

Stan Rosenfield, Freeman's spokesman, said it is not unusual for voice actors to try to impersonate Freeman's voice and cadence in political ads. Freeman, who was on location for a film shoot in Florida, was adamant that he had never recorded an ad for Lawson, Rosenfield said.

Rosenfield said the actor will now consider filing a lawsuit against the Lawson campaign for using Freeman's name without his permission.

"I'd like to see them produce one shred of evidence that it is him," Rosenfield said.

Avila said that Lawson's campaign has a copy of its contract with M.E.I. Political, the California firm that produced the ad, saying the voice is indeed that of Morgan Freeman. Following Freeman's statement, however, Avila conceded the possibility that his campaign had been hoodwinked.

"We paid for Morgan Freeman," Avila said. "We feel tremendously taken advantage of. This is not what we want to be talking about the day before voters go to the polls."

Benjamin Mathis, the president of M.E.I. Political, could not immediately be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone at his office said he was very busy.

Mathis, who specializes in making ads for GOP candidates, has previously worked on such television series as Benson, Blossom and The Golden Girls, according to the firm's web site.

Price's campaign wasted no time trying to score political points off from the dust up, dubbing the issue "The Shawshank Deception" in a media release.

Reached at his home in Chapel Hill, Price said he never thought for a minute that the voice in the ad was really that of the famous Hollywood actor who has starred in at least 87 films, including Glory, Driving Miss Daisy and Million Dollar Baby.

"It's an interesting voice, but it never occurred to us it was Morgan Freeman," Price said. "They need to make this right, and that starts with a sincere apology to Mr. Freeman and pulling at ad down. That ad should not run another minute."

UPDATE: The Lawson campaign has taken the ad down from YouTube. Dome did save a copy of the audio featuring the Morgan Freeman sound-alike, however.

B.J. Lawson ad


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What should it say?

BJ Lawson duped! Hoodwinked! Scammed! Can't run a campaign! Thinks black people like Morgan Freeman work for minimum wage!


Any way you spin it, BJ Lawson is NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME.


"Both verbally and in writing, we made it clear to the Lawson campaign that this is not Morgan Freeman, but instead it is Mr. Freeman’s voice double. We also informed the campaign that even though the ad was similar to Morgan Freeman in style or tone, the campaign should not represent it as the actor Morgan Freeman or as an endorsement by Mr. Freeman. In a phone conversation with Mr. Lawson, we further discussed the fact that the actor Morgan Freeman is Democrat and would probably never do an endorsement ad for a Republican Congressional campaign.”

Update your story

This story should be updated with the information from the story, "Lawson releases documents for 'Morgan Freeman' ad" from your paper.

This is pathetic that Price has to scrape this low to find a way to fight Lawson. I guess his 23 year record in congress is something he wants to distract from.

Lawson is an honest guy. He entered into a contract with a scammer and the dems want to say that that makes him unfit for congress. While honesty has not been a quality often found in congress, I really hope that he and more like him will be there starting in January.

Hookwinked easily... how? By

Hookwinked easily... how? By signing a contract for services and then not receiving those services? 

Also no, I dont use a litmus test on which ad agencies a candidate uses to create campaign ads. Do you really want to go through all the candidates and see which ones use only NC resources for their campaigns? My guess is that wouldnt be a very partisan list. 


And yes, I'd be OK with Lawson deciding better how my taxes are spent, because much more so than Mr. Price, Lawson seems to understand that it's actually other people's money he's spending, and that understanding can make him a far better steward of our dollars. 


And Mr. Price's move is still a low class move. 

Republicans duped again, thank you, B. J. Lawson!!

Republican voters are always getting duped.  This time, by B. J. Lawson.  Now, Lawson says he was duped.  Duped?  What a dope!

Now that is a Great AD!

Who cares if it was Freeman or another Voice.   David Price needs to go!  Any one who votes with Nancy Pelosi and President Obama needs to be shown the door.....


Price spends our money in other states for 22 yrs

Over the years, we citizens have paid millions of dollars to Price in salary, for what? He doesn't have a single accomplishment in 22 years that he can even brag about in his negative television ads. For Price to make such a big deal of what seems to be an honest mistake shows how desperate he is to cover up his own record.

Pretty bad impression, really

I think it's a white guy trying to sound like Morgan Freeman.

NC 19 may not be a backwater, but to political sweatshops in California it is - and I agree that if the Lawson campaign chose to shop that work out to the lowest bidder, which happened to be that sweatshop, instead of using a local outfit, they deserve to be hoodwinked.


You should be irked that Lawson took his campaign money and chose to spend it in California.  It certainly doesn't seem like he has what's best for NC jobs in mind.  You should also be irked that Lawson can be hoodwinked so easily.  He spent money on this.  You want him spending your money? 

It's perfectly

It's perfectly understandable for the Lawson campaign to get hoodwinked and deceived by this ad agency. It happens. You take care of it and move on. 


However, the thing that REALLY irked me the most in this story is the  Price campaign's response. How absolutely undeserving-ly petty. Shows me some true colors there, and it's not pretty.  If you're willing to take the low road and score cheap political points like that... how are we supposed to believe or take seriously anything from Price or his campaign?


Low class dude. 

Republicans will believe anything!

Thirty years of Republican led debt bubbles is good for our economy.

Iraq had WMDs.

New Orleans can float.

By giving your tax dollars to rich people we are all better off.

Sarah Palin is qualified to be something.

Americans are dumb enough to vote for them again, even though they have nothing new that will work to offer, and everything old that doesn't work to offer.

Morgan Freeman had ever even heard of BJ Lawson before today. 

The first line of the ad

The first line of the ad (after B.J. Lawson's bit of course) sounds very convincing, but the rest of it is pretty clearly some guy just trying to sound a lot like Morgan Freeman.  I understand why a campaign would use a narrator that sounds trustworthy and familiar, but to actually claim that Morgan Freeman did the voice work?  I hope they recant it, and if B.J. Lawson actually gets elected, I hope that this is where the blatant lies will stop.

Defending NC

Pirmin- NC is *not* a backwater, and since David Price definitely would not support Proposition 19 I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Lawson would be more likely to.

Price has 22 years in Congress and virtually no achievements to show for it (notice his ads, he never talks about anything he's accomplished), and yet he's so outraged that BJ Lawson got hoodwinked with this ad. Where's the outrage at Price not getting anything done in Congress except bailing out banks and voting for bills such as the Patriot Act without reading them? He's mortgaged our children's future with any number of bills he's voted yes on, yet everyone here is so quick to jump on BJ Lawson for a minor mistake.

In 2010, BJ Lawson fell off

In 2010, BJ Lawson fell off the face of the earth. All they found of him was a muddy Brooks Brothers suit, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub.

I'd like to think that the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, was to wonder how the hell David Price ever got the best of him.

Exporting jobs

Oh, I see... it wasn't a lie.  The republicans were hoodwinked when they hired some out of state firm to do something NC pros could have done honestly.  I guess being accountable and exporting jobs are just words that you say when trying to get elected.   I'm not about to let any of my taxes get anywhere near this guy. 

Get real

Mr. Freeman is busy here in California politicking LIVE AND IN PERSON to pass Prop. 19 (to legalize personal-use marijuana in CA). Does anyone logically think he would support a right-wing backwater such as Mr. Lawson in li'l ol' NC? Does anyone down there actually use a brain?

This story found its way into the CA press today...and believe me, we are all LAUGHING.

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