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What you hear is not Morgan Freeman supporting a Republican congressman from North Carolina

November 1, 2010 |  5:56 pm

Morgan Freeman, the award-winning star of "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Shawshank Redemption," swears he didn't record the voiceover for this attack ad against longtime Democrat congressman David Price -- despite what it sounds like and despite what B.J. Lawson or his campaign say.

Lawson, the North Carolina Republican nominee for the 4th Congressional District, issued a press release today to....

...confirm that what you hear in the ad above is truly that of the Oscar winner, who first became famous while on PBS's "Electric Company".

"In response to numerous queries and enthusiastic feedback, the Lawson for Congress campaign confirms that its latest radio and TV ad is indeed narrated by actor Morgan Freeman," a press release written by Lawson for Congress said Monday. "The ad with Freeman's distinctive voice, titled, "What is David Price Afraid Of?" can be viewed at..." and a URL for the YouTube video above follows.

The link is now unviewable to the public. A message from YouTube says "This video is private."

Worse, Freeman has issued his own statement.

  Morgan "These people are lying. I have never recorded any campaign ads for B.J. Lawson and I do not support his candidacy. And, no one who represents me ever has ever authorized the use of my name, voice or any other likeness in support of Mr. Lawson or his candidacy," Freeman rebutted on Monday.

And with that, B.J. Lawson issued another statement saying that his campaign had been "tricked by a political mercenary based out of California" and that they had stopped running the ads.

"This is terribly unfortunate and we apologize profusely to Morgan Freeman for what has happened. This is obviously not something we ever would want to misrepresent. Once we found out that our contracted advertisement was not narrated by Morgan Freeman, we immediately pulled our ads. Our campaign is comprised almost entirely of volunteers and we were presented with an opportunity to make a great ad -- unfortunately these political mercenaries completely misrepresented their offering and contract with us to take our money," the candidate said on his website.

"Through many conversations we referenced Mr. Freeman based upon our signed contract for a Morgan Freeman radio commercial. We thought it was a great opportunity to put together a nice message," Martin Avila, Lawson's campaign manager, said on the campaign website, referring to the Los Angeles-based agency, M.E.I. Political. "It's unfortunate that someone would misrepresent their offering like this just to make some quick money."

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: File photo of Freeman from 2009. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times