After initially refusing to step down, Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer has finally resigned.
This Tuesday evening, Spencer announced that he was resigning from office in the wake of his humiliating appearance on an episode of comedian Sasha Barron Cohen’s new show, Who Is America?
In the segment which aired on Sunday night, Cohen disguises himself as an Israeli self-defense expert and tricks Spencer into believing he’s taking an anti-terrorism training class. During the prank, Spencer mimicked the stereotypical character of a Chinese tourist, pulled his pants down, and screamed the N-word.
According to a letter he submitted to the Georgia House, his resignation will be effective July 31.
In his initial response and apology for the segment, Spencer said that Cohen had taken advantage of his “paralyzing fear” that he would be attacked by opponents of some recent anti-Muslim legislation he had sponsored.
“Sacha Baron Cohen and his associates took advantage of my paralyzing fear that my family would be attacked,” Spencer said in a statement to The Washington Post. “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.”
“I deeply regret the language I used at his request as well as my participation in the ‘class’ in general,” Spencer’s statement continued. “If I had not been so distracted by my fears, I never would have agreed to participate in the first place.”
Controversy is no stranger to Spencer. In August of last year, he warned a black attorney that if she and others continued their push for the removal of Confederate monuments, there would be serious reprisals.
“I cant guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive,” he said.
In a later threat, he clarified that the people who want the statues gone “will go missing in the Okefenokee,” referring to a swamp and national wildlife refuge near his home town. “To many necks they are red around here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it.
— Governor Nathan Deal (@GovernorDeal) July 23, 2018
Still in character, Cohen later posted a clip of the unedited version of the prank.
Boker tov. I have been inform elected official & all-round mensch I meet, Jason Spencer, have somehow been portray in bad light by Showtime. To reveal the truth, here is the unedited film. Do not worry Jason Shpenker, Erran Morad have got your backsidehttps://t.co/Tnj7lX8zf5
— Colonel Erran Morad (@ErranMorad) July 23, 2018
Featured image via screen grab