Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Geico fires voiceover guy D. C. Douglas

Geico dropped D.C. Douglas, the guy who provides the voice for the Geico commercials, today.  D. C. Douglas called Freedom Works and left a hostile message. Now here is the kicker, Douglas was stupid enough to leave his actual phone number in the message. So Freedom Works published the number and Geico’s number as well so that people could voice their opinions about D.C. Douglas’ comments. The rest, like Douglas, is history. 
Washington Post: Sometimes you have a headline that makes the rest of the story superfluous, but here's the background. Actor Lance Baxter, otherwise known as "D.C. Douglas," currently known as the man who informs you how much Geico can save you on car insurance, left a message last month with FreedomWorks in which he asked the group how many "mentally retarded" people it had on staff and what it would do when a tea partyer "killed someone." On April 14, FreedomWorks put his voicemail online.
Today, Douglas reports he's been dropped from Geico's campaign. His dramatic news release is here; he claims to have been motivated by "the recent gay and racial slurs slung by Tea Party members at Congressman Barney Frank and Representative John Lewis during the Health Care Reform Weekend," and says he's "open to any attorneys taking on this case pro bono."
Of course Douglas is playing the victim card. Sorry buddy, but that doesn’t work. This is an open and shut case of the First Amendment in motion.  Here is how it works. The First Amendment allows you to say pretty much what you want. However, the First Amendment does not guarantee that what you say will be well received. Douglas exercised his First Amendment rights by leaving the nasty-gram. Tea Partiers did not appreciate his message and exercised their First Amendment rights by contacting Geico.

The lesson for Mr. Douglas is that with our rights comes responsibility. There are many responsible ways Douglas could have voiced his objection to Freedom Works without inviting the avalanche of phone calls that led to his termination.

It will be interesting to see if any attorneys are willing to handle his case for free, somehow methinks not.


Janelle said...

Perfect words, Clifton, the Firth Amendment does not guarantee that what you say will be well received.
Bravo! said...

How does the saying go? "What goes around..."

Liz said...

I just changed and paid for my GEICO car insurance yesterday so Thank God they fired this jerk face. If they kept this guy, I would have been one pissed off customer who would have cancelled my car insurance asap if they kept paying this loser to do voiceovers.
Thanks GEICO.

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