You’ve probably never seen his face, and you probably don’t know his name. But if you listen to TV much at all, you have probably heard D.C. Douglas’ voice.
Douglas was the actor who provided the voice of the announcer in those ubiquitous Geico insurance commercials. But not any more, thanks to the ire of some Tea Party members.
Upset over the anti-gay and racist remarks made by some FreedomWorks Tea Party members to gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and African-American U.S. Rep. John Lewis during the tumultuous debate over health care reform, Douglas decided to give the FreedomWorks folks a call. He ended up leaving a voice mail for them that, uh, expressed his dismay.
FreedomWorks is the conservative lobbying company headed up by former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey of Texas, that bastion of tolerance who once called Frank “Barney Fag.”
The message said, in part: “Just wondering what the percentage of people who are mentally retarded who are working for FreedomWorks” and “wondering what your plans are on how to spin it when one of your members actually kills somebody.”
Well, Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks president and CEO, heard the message, researched who Douglas was and then posted the voice mail, along with Douglas’ home phone number and website address AND Geico’s business line phone number in a post on the conservative blog site BigGovernment.com, urging them to contact both Douglas and Geico and let them know what they thought of the voice mail.
Douglas was, of course, swamped with angry phone calls and he got so many e-mails his website was overloaded. His Wikipedia page was vandalized, too. And within 10 hours, Geico had called to let him no they no longer needed his services.
In a statement about the situation, Douglas said: “I called as a private citizen to make a complaint. Racism and homophobia are my Achilles’ heel, 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.”
He also suggested that Kibbe went after him so strongly because Kibbe saw it as another way to pressure Geico, which was already on FreedomWorks’ shit list for pulling its ads from Glenn Beck’s show.
Go here to read more about the situation.
This YouTube clip from a Fox News Channel broadcast has the full content of Douglas’ voice mail. (Notice the Fox News announcer’s description of it as a “nasty voice mail attacking Tea Party members.”)