The Georgia state Republican who dropped trou and yelled the n-word on Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy series, “Who Is America?” is resigning.
Jason Spencer, a Republican state representative who fought to keep Confederate statues in Georgia and pushed for an “anti-masking” burqa ban, has announced he will step down after literally baring his ass on the recent episode of the Showtime series. On Tuesday night, in an email obtained by VICE News, Spencer wrote to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston to let him know that his resignation will be effective July 31. Ralston and other state lawmakers had called for Spencer to step down after the stunning appearance, but he'd initially refused.
It didn’t appear to take much prompting from Cohen’s Israeli “anti-terrorism expert” character, Erran Morad, to get Spencer to crudely imitate Asian tourists and take an up-skirt photo of a woman in a burqa with a selfie stick, or to bare his cheeks and chase Cohen around yelling about turning ISIS agents gay.
“We say in the Mossad — I mean, not in the Mossad,” Cohen said, referring to Israel’s intelligence agency and his character’s alleged former employer. “If you want to win, you show some skin.”
Spencer promptly dropped his pants and chased Cohen around the room with his butt, yelling things like “I’ll touch you and make you a homosexual” and “USA, motherfucker!”
Spencer is no stranger to bad press, making headlines last August after threatening a black attorney who had advocated for the removal of Confederate monuments in Georgia.
“I cant [sic] guarantee you won’t be met with torches, but something a lot more definitive,” he wrote on Facebook. Those fighting to take down the monuments, he said, “will go missing in the Okefenokee,” referring to a swamp in Georgia.
After the bit aired on “Who Is America?”, Spencer said in a statement to the Washington Post that Cohen had taken advantage of his fear of being attacked to get him to participate in the “class,” filmed, he says he was told, to “teach others the same skills in Israel.”
“Sacha Baron Cohen and his associates took advantage of my paralyzing fear that my family would be attacked,” the statement said. “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.”
Spencer’s appearance on the show prompted Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal to call the lawmaker’s actions “appalling and offensive,” and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston called on him to resign. “Georgia is better than this,” Ralston said in a statement to Politically Georgia.
Spencer, who lost his primary in May, would not have been eligible to seek another term after the November election.
Cover image via Showtime