Geico voice-over actor fired after calling Tea Party group ‘mentally retarded’
A voice-over actor — best known for telling viewers they can save 15 percent or more on car insurance — says he lost his gig doing Geico commercials after leaving a voicemail with a group that organizes Tea Party events to ask how many of its employees are “mentally retarded.”
Los Angeles actor D.C. Douglas in a press release said he was dropped from the upcoming Geico “Shocking News” campaign after leaving a message with the press shop at FreedomWorks, a Washington-based organization led by former Republican leader Dick Armey that has been at the forefront of the Tea Party movement.
“I called as a private citizen to make a complaint,” Douglas said of the message he left with FreedomWorks. “Racism and homophobia are my Achilles heal, but unfortunately my message included inappropriate words and I am sorry for that. However, telling their members to harass my employer to get me fired is an egregiously disproportionate response to my actions.”
FreedomWorks Chief Executive Matt Kibbe posted audio of the phone call online. In the message, Douglas claimed to be working on a written piece, and said he wanted to know the percentage of “mentally retarded” employees at FreedomWorks. He also asked its policy on how they will spin the news when “your members actually kill someone.”
Geico has since held auditions to replace Douglas voice on the commercials, he said. He said he has “consulted with several Los Angeles attorneys and has been advised that FreedomWorks’ actions were questionable.”
In the release, Douglas says he doesn’t plan to spend any money to sue FreedomWorks, but he’d like to find an attorney to sue pro-bono for him.