An Alabama law firm is disassociating itself from a racist commercial released by a Florida company that claims the law firm provided the script.
Vice reported on Monday that Definitive Television has blamed McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C. for the copy used for the ad, in which a white man portraying an “Asian” caricature complains about an insurance company “messing [him] over” and that “Confucius” led him to the firm’s website.
But the attorneys denied any connection to the commerical on the firm’s Facebook page on Nov. 25, writing, “McCutcheon and Hamner’s You Tube Channel has been hacked. Our firm did not approve the latest advertising commercial. We apologize to anyone who has watched the commercial. Our IT team has been working all morning to get the commercial taken off You Tube and find the person who is responsible for this action. Again this firm sends out our sincerest apology.”
Hamner also released a statement to the legal affairs blog Above The Law, saying Definitive Television refused to honor a cease-and-desist letter, as well as a request that Definitive owner Jim DeBerry “disclose the party that allowed my partner and I to be portrayed in such a negative and misleading light.”
For his part, DeBerry — who plays “Mr. Wong Fong Su” in the commercial — has defended the ad on Twitter, where he has argued, “I’m not a racist, I’m a member of the NAACP who has black relatives.” In his own statement to Above The Law, DeBerry denies his company tampered with the firm’s YouTube page, saying, “We run a production company that creates ‘Cheesy B-Rate Commercials.’ We have never had any involvement with McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C’s Youtube Account.”
DeBerry also said in his statement that his company has “great relationships with many members of the Asian American, African American, Hispanic, and other Ethnic Communities” and that “while some of our characters may be considered edgy in the vein of Jerry Springer or Satire Comedy [sic] and not suitable for some, including the heavily opinionated, we promote equality, unity and are not racist.”
According to Above The Law, Definitive Television also defended the character by saying, “he does not say violent things of physical harm or assault. WARNING HE MAY OFFEND YOU AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE HIM, DON’T WATCH HIM. [sic] If you’re offended and still watch him, we hope you enjoy picking the wad out of your panties and it gives your [sic] relief.”
The pop culture blog Angry Asian Man, which brought the ad to light on Nov. 25, also noted that Definitive is offering “Mr. Wong Fong Su” for companies to hire for their own events.
Watch Definitive’s ad for McCutcheon & Hamner, as posted on Nov. 9, below.