The actor who gained fame playing the “Soup Nazi” on the sitcom Seinfeld ordered an automatic-weapons manufacturer to stop using his image on a campaign criticizing New York state’s new gun safety laws.
The New York Post reported on Tuesday that Larry Thomas contacted Serbu Firearms, a Florida-based company, after it had produced T-shirts with his likeness and the phrase “No Serbu for you,” a spoof of Thomas’ character’s “no soup for you” catchphrase.
“I have seen my face on t-shirts, random objects on eBay in the past,” said Serbu, who described himself as a gun control advocate. “But politically, this is the most offensive thing I have seen involving me as the ‘Soup Nazi.’”
The campaign, Serbu told the newspaper, was motivated by New York’s ban on military-grade assault weapon ownership for private citizens, which it enacted on Jan. 15. In protest, he has refused to sell the company’s semi-automatic sniper rifle to the New York City Police Department.
“There are only two manufacturers of semi-automatic 50-caliber rifles in the U.S’, and neither will sell to the NYPD,” he said. “This is like, ‘Screw you, New York.’ People are less safe without our rifles to protect you.”
Serbu also acknowledged Thomas’ request, saying the actor did not want to be associated with a “hot-button” issue because of his profession.
“We are just going to shoot him. Only joking,” he said. “We don’t want to get into a lawsuit; we’ll change the shirts.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.