Georgia lawmaker resigns after appearance on Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Who Is America?’

Eloise Marshall
July 25, 2018

Jason Spencer, a South Georgia state lawmaker who dropped his pants and repeatedly used the "n-word" on an episode of the Showtime series "Who Is America?" on Sunday night, has announced his resignation. Spencer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the show "exploited" his state of mind "for profit and notoriety".

Spencer appeared in a segment in which Cohen portrays an Israeli military expert who is making a video about how to mount a personal defense against potential terrorists.

"Sacha Baron Cohen and his associates took advantage of my paralyzing fear that my family would be attacked", Spencer told The Washington Post ahead of his resignation. "I recently lost my primary election, so I will not be eligible to hold office next term", Spencer said.

But Spencer's conduct drew a tidal wave of backlash and fresh calls for the longtime lawmaker, who is no stranger to controversy, to step down.

Baron Cohen told Spencer this would incite fear in homophobic jihadists.

Rep. Jason Spencer of Georgia was duped by Cohen on the second episode of Who Is America? .

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In a second section called "How to stop a kidnapping" Mr Spencer loudly shouted the n-word several times to "attract attention".

Baron Cohen made a searing return to the small screen earlier this month with the satirical comedy series. "Representative Spencer has disgraced himself and should resign immediately", Ralston said in his statement.

Mr Spencer has since apologised for his behaviour and said he "deeply regrets" the language he used.

In Sunday's episode, Spencer - who thought he was participating in an anti-terrorism training - pulled down his trousers and repeatedly chased Cohen's character yelling "USA motherf-ker" as a means "to intimidate ISIS", according to Cohen's character.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal tweeted about Spencer's actions on Monday. "There is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it".

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