An automated phone call disturbed Georgia’s gubernatorial race on Friday, leading both candidates to denounce the racist message. The call targeted Oprah Winfrey, who is supporting Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams.
The phone call, a man’s voice trying to impersonate the talk show host and media giant, came days after the star knocked on doors next to the Democratic candidate on the campaign trail.
“This is the magical Negro Oprah Winfrey asking you to make my fellow Negress Stacey Abrams the governor of Georgia,” the 60-second robocall begins.
The phone call was produced by white nationalist website TheRoadToPower.com. This podcast website has generated other robocalls against Democratic candidates like Andrew Gillum in Florida and Dianne Feinstein in California.
Shortly after Georgians were contacted by the automated voice call, both parties denounced the racist slurs. “This call is absolutely disgusting,” Republican candidate Brian Kemp said in a statement. “I stand against any person or organization that peddles this type of unbridled hate and unapologetic bigotry.”
But Abrams’ team was unapologetic toward Kemp, as her director of strategic communication, Abigail Collazo, accused Kemp and President Donald Trump of contributing to a political atmosphere that feeds such hate.
“Over the last few weeks we’ve seen increasing desperation from many dark corners trying to steal the election, cheat, lie, and prey on people’s fears rather than having the respect to listen to voters and speak to their hopes,” Collazo said.
The election in Georgia is tight and polarizing. Kemp recently accused the African-American woman—who would be the first Black female governor in U.S. history if elected—of calling on “illegals to vote for you” during a debate.
Abrams is the former minority leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives. Kemp has served as the secretary of state in Georgia since 2010 and has made headlines for being accused of voter suppression during the race.