(WARNING: The above clip is NSFW.)
Sascha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? has already outraged a number of people, as Cohen straight-facedly puts seemingly intelligent people in deeply absurd situations they don’t seem to quite realize are happening. But yesterday’s episode, with a sequence featuring Cohen’s character Erran Morad, an Israeli “anti-terror expert,” featured a Georgia lawmaker in a far more compromising position, and the Republican lawmaker, state representative Jason Spencer, is in hot water over it and giving the most bizarre explanation for his behavior — a “paralyzing fear” of terrorist groups.
The clip, which you can see above and is decidedly not safe for work, features Morad “training” Spencer in “anti-terror” techniques, which begins with Morad encouraging Spencer to take upskirt photos with a selfie stick and showing Spencer a series of photos he took of “terrorists,” including women not wearing underwear and a man with a Glock next to his penis, which Spencer identifies instantly. Somehow completely taken in by this, the next bit of the clip, which starts roughly three minutes in, has Spencer screaming “N****r!” repeatedly before dropping his pants in a bid to drive terrorists away by, apparently, offending their delicate sensibilities.
Spencer is now in enormous trouble, as the New York Times reports:
“Representative Spencer has disgraced himself and should resign immediately,” the speaker, David Ralston, said in a statement. “Georgia is better than this.” Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, said Monday that “the actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive.” The governor, in his post on Twitter, added, “There is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it.”
Spencer wasn’t chosen by Cohen at random, either. During his four terms in the Georgia state house, he proposed a bill, quickly defeated in the Georgia legislature, to ban hijabs, and he threatened a former Black state representative that she’d “go missing in the Okeefenokee” swamp for her advocating the removal of Confederate monuments.
As for Spencer himself, he claims that Cohen took advantage of his “paralyzing fear” of terrorist groups to manipulate him, and that he was told the filming was to demonstrate anti-terror techniques to Israelis. It’s likely, however, that he’ll have to offer a far more detailed explanation to voters before all this is over if he hopes to continue to have any sort of career in politics.