Jason Spencer, that Republican state representative we watched yell the N-word and drop his pants to charge a disguised Sacha Baron Cohen butt first on "Who Is America?", has resigned.
CNN reported Tuesday evening that the Georgia lawmaker submitted a resignation letter to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, whose office announced on Wednesday that Spencer will leave office on July 31.
In multiple statements to the media before and after the episode aired, Spencer blamed his fear of a possible attack for his willingness to participate in the segment on the Showtime series. Cohen posed as Israeli "anti-terrorist expert" Colonel Erran Morad, who told Spencer he could scare off ISIS terrorists by dropping his pants and charging them with his bare butt while threatening to turn them into homosexuals. Spencer fell for the ruse hook, line and sinker.
In a statement to The Washington Post on Monday, Spencer recognized there were calls for his resignation but, at the time, did not indicate he would give in. Here's his explanation for his behavior.
"In 2017 I received countless death threats in connection with my introduction of legislation involving the wearing of masks. The threats escalated to the point that my wife received threatening phone calls concerning her and my children. I was very afraid for my safety and the safety of my entire family.
"Then, on June 14th, a gunman opened fire at members of Congress on a baseball field. I knew people on that field. Now, the fears I already had became more intensified as the reality of my family being targeted by a similar, deranged, would-be assassin became even more possible. I was in such a poor state of mind that my wife and I also undertook marriage counseling with a licensed therapist during this time.
"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."
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal was quick to condemn Spencer's behavior after the episode aired Sunday.
"The actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive," Gov. Deal tweeted early Monday morning. "There is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it."
Spencer isn't the first political figure currently in office to be duped by Cohen for the comedy series, but he is the first to resign.
Spencer's office did not immediately respond to TooFab's request for a copy of his resignation letter or additional comment. Showtime declined to comment on the matter.
Cohen commented in character via Morad's Twitter account.
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