(Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson reportedly has threatened to sue former Democratic presidential candidate Randall Terry over a mock video of Terry making fun of an ad in which Jackson urges Americans to vote for President Barack Obama in the upcoming elections.
"We are confused, amused, and saddened by the threats from Mr. Jackson. The stations are protected by FCC law from any legal action for ANY political campaign ad that runs on their stations. And I am protected by the First Amendment – not to mention the truth," Terry said after receiving Jackson's demand that the "Jackson Carries Water for Racists" TV ad that has already run on over 100 TV stations be removed from the airwaves.
Jackson released a political ad last month entitled "Wake the F*** Up" (censored version) where a young pro-Obama girl speaks to her brother, her sister and her parents about the importance of voting for Obama against GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Nov. 6 – with Jackson popping up in every segment to back the girl and highlight why a Romney presidency would be bad for the country. The segments in the video are all delivered in catchy Dr. Seuss-styled rhymes.
"Sorry my friends but there's no time to snore. An out-of-touch millionaire has just declared war. On schools, the environment, unions, fair pay – We're all on our own if Romney has his way," Jackson tells the young girl's parents in the video.
Terry, a staunch pro-life advocate who has campaigned against Obama especially for his pro-choice position, saw the ad and decided to produce his own Dr. Seuss-like video making fun of Jackson's support for the president.
In the ad, Terry describes Jackson as "Uncle Tom," referring to the title character of Uncle Tom's Cabin, an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, because of what the politician perceives as Jackson's willingness to live like a "slave" and follow what the "big man says," referring to Obama.
Terry focuses heavily on Jackson's criticism of Romney for his plans to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Terry reminds Jackson that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, purportedly called African-Americans "human weeds" and wanted to sterilize Black men and women. The ad also features graphic images of aborted babies.
According to Terry, Jackson's legal team sent him a letter that states:
"The use of Mr. Jackson's name and image to advocate the highly offensive statements in the Commercial, namely that he supposedly advocates 'Black genocide,'" and the other such outrageous positions discussed above, has caused Mr. Jackson to suffer substantial emotional distress."
It adds: "Mr. Jackson may seek substantial monetary damages, including punitive damages, for this violation."
Recently, a number of high profile Hollywood actors have come out with their own video messages to urge people to vote for Obama, including Morgan Freeman, John Cho, Kal Penn, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, and Jackson's 2012 "The Avengers" co-star Scarlett Johansson. Terry notes that "there appears to be a double standard as to who is allowed to express their opinion," adding that his team will not be "bullied or intimidated by Mr. Jackson's threats" and promised to continue running the controversial ads.