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Update 7/25/18 10:20 a.m. EST: Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer has decided to resign from his position following backlash for his humiliating appearance on Sacha Baron Cohen's new show Who Is America?
Read his resignation to House Speaker David Ralston below:
This email/letter is to serve as an official resignation notice to your office that I will be resigning my post effective July 31, 2018.
Rep. Jason Spencer
Original story below.
Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer is being pressured to resign following his humiliating appearance on an episode of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show Who Is America?, which aired Sunday night.
In the episode, Cohen once again poses as ex-Mossad officer Col. Erran Morad Cohen. He convinces Spencer to take part in an anti-terrorism training video where, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Spencer repeatedly uses the N-word and dropped his pants on the Showtime series. He reportedly threatened legal action against the network to prevent them from airing the footage, but they aired it anyway.
“The actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal tweeted Monday morning.
Meanwhile, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston is demanding Spencer resign, and other Republicans are speaking out as well. “Representative Spencer has disgraced himself and should resign immediately,” Ralston said. “Georgia is better than this.”
Spencer already lost in the Republican primary in May, but still maintains his seat until the November election. In a statement to AJC, the lawmaker refused to resign. “Sacha Baron Cohen and his associates took advantage of my paralyzing fear that my family would be attacked,” he wrote.
Spencer was previously asked to resign when he threatened a former black lawmaker last year, saying she wouldn't be “met with torches but something a lot more definitive,” and when he introduced Islamophobic legislation that prohibited women from wearing burqas in public.
He's only the latest high-profile figure to be duped by Cohen, who has pranked Sarah Palin and Joe Walsh, and tricked several gun rights advocates and politicians to cite pop artists while promoting the arming of young children.
Read part of Spencer’s statement below:
“Sacha Baron Cohen and his associates took advantage of my paralyzing fear that my family would be attacked. In posing as an Israeli Agent, he pretended to offer self-defense exercises. As uncomfortable as I was to participate, I agreed to, understanding that these ‘techniques’ were meant to help me and others fend off what I believed was an inevitable attack.
“My fears were so heightened at that time, I was not thinking clearly nor could I appreciate what I was agreeing to when I participated in his “class”. I was told I would be filmed as a “demonstration video” to teach others the same skills in Israel. Sacha and his crew further lied to me, stating that I would be able to review and have final approval over any footage used.
“I deeply regret the language I used at his request as well as my participation in the “class’ in general. If I had not been so distracted by my fears, I never would have agreed to participate in the first place.
“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 eligible to hold office next term. Therefore, I will finish the remaining five months at my post and vacate my seat.”
Who Is America? airs Sunday nights on Showtime at 10 p.m. EST.