Sacha Baron Cohen's trolling of Jason Spencer, a Republican state representative in Georgia, is perhaps one of the most humiliating pranks the British comedian has ever pulled off. In the second episode of “Who Is America?”, Cohen subjects Spencer, who made his name trying to ban Muslims from wearing veils in public, to a series of hilariously embarrassing "training techniques" to help defeat terrorists by pretending to be Asian and feigning homosexuality.
Posing as Erran Morad, an Israeli self defense instructor and gun nut, Cohen exposes Spencer's bigotry, homophobia and racism in such a complete way it is hard to see how Spencer ever comes back from this. And it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. As the NYTimes reported:
Last summer, Mr. Spencer got into a Facebook exchange with a former Georgia lawmaker, an African-American attorney named LaDawn Jones, who supported the removal of Confederate statues. In a comment that had threatening racial overtones, Mr. Spencer told Ms. Jones: “Looks like you are afflicted with the same poison you claim to fight against. I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive. People in South Georgia are people of action, not drama.” He added that people who want the statues removed “will go missing in the Okefenokee,” referring to a swamp in Georgia.
Spencer declared in a statement that Cohen “took advantage of my fears that I would be attacked by someone inspired by the vile rhetoric used against me,” and called it a “deceptive and fraudulent behavior.”
"It is clear the makers of this film intended to deceive me in an attempt to undermine the American conservative political movement; therefore, I have sought legal counsel to challenge this illegal and unethical behavior and plan on taking action if and when any of this fraudulently obtained footage of me is used by these Hollywood liberals to line their own pockets," Spencer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionin a statement.
"They exploited my state of mind for profit and notoriety. This media company’s deceptive and fraudulent behavior is exactly why President Donald Trump was elected."
Yes, Donald Trump was elected because Americans are sick of British comedians tricking Republican politicians into publicly expressing their appalling racism and xenophobia.
Unsurprisingly, calls for Spencer's resignation are growing by the minute. From the Hollywood Reporter:
"The actions and language used on this video are reprehensible," Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said in a statement. "Representative Spencer has disgraced himself and should resign immediately. Georgia is better than this."
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal added on Twitter, "The actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Georgia is also calling for Spencer to resign, calling on Democratic and Republican leaders including Stacey Abrams, Casey Cagle, and Brian Kemp to take action.
On Monday, Spencer issued a second statement to the Washington Post where he apologized, but said he planned to serve out the remaining five months of his term. "I apologize to my family, friends, and the people of my district for this ridiculously ugly episode. Finally, there are calls for me to resign. I recently lost my primary election, so I will not be eligible to hold office next term," he said, in part. "Therefore, I will finish the remaining five months at my post and vacate my seat."
In other words, that's the last we'll see of Jason Spencer, and good riddance.