D.C. Douglas, FreedomWorks, Geico team up for political theater of the absurd
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Is it possible, in this great land of ours, that people of differing political beliefs can exchange insults, make stupid remarks, get fired, make wildly overreaching claims -- and both sides wind up giggling about it? Is it so easy to have a sense of humor about absurd political theater that even a caveman could do it?
Well, if only anyone around here was that smart.
Veteran voice-over artist and bit actor D.C. Douglas got canned this week from one of his most profitable gigs -- being an announcer on some Geico Insurance ads -- after the dulcet-toned Californian phoned in an insult to FreedomWorks, the Washington activist group that organizes many "tea party" events, back during the health-care debates. Offended at the racist and homophobic insults attributed to protesters during that debate, Douglas left a voice mail asking how many "mentally retarded" people worked for them and how they would spin it "when one of your members does actually kill somebody."
Then he left a stage name he often works under and his home phone number.
"I was a doofus," he said Friday from his home studio in Los Angeles. (He has also called that astute move "stupid" and "certainly not constructive.")
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe released a recording of Douglas's call Tuesday and encouraged supporters to call Douglas at his home, then to call Geico.
A couple of hundred angry calls and 10 hours later, Douglas found out that his contract had been canceled.
"This guy called us," Kibbe said Friday, unapologetic but polite about his tactics. "We didn't know who he was."
Douglas, angry at the vindictiveness over what he viewed as nothing more than a prank call, said: "Kibbe crossed a big ethical line."
After Douglas's contract (potentially worth more than $100,000) was canceled, Kibbe gleefully posted a blog with a headline boasting that his organization had "taken down the Geico Gecko" and "the voice of Geico Insurance."
Well, not to be picky, but Douglas does not voice the irritating little lizard and is not the voice of the Chevy Chase-based insurer. He's just an announcer on two Geico campaigns, the guy who said "Geico. Real Service. Real Savings." (But that really is him voicing uber-villain Albert Wesker on the video game "Resident Evil 5"!)