This Is America is quickly becoming a thorn in the side for government officials on both sides of the aisle, and the Sacha Baron Cohen show even has Georgia leaders condemning Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Ga.) for his racist appearance on the controversial program.
Spencer appeared on the Showtime show this weekend. Cohen once again portrayed Erran Morad, a fictional Israeli antiterrorism expert, and effectively convinced Spencer to participate in an anti-terrorism drill. Cohen’s Morad character made an appearance in the debut episode of This Is America, too, tricking several lawmakers and gun-rights advocates into supporting the idea of arming school children.
In the appearance, Spencer was instructed to pull down his pants, scream the N-word, and openly mock Asian tourists. Spencer insists he was fooled by Cohen into filming an educational aid aimed to train elected officials targeted by terrorists.
Spencer is no stranger to controversy. As CBS News notes, the 43-year-old had previously tried to get burkas banned in public in his state and allegedly threatened a Black attorney who was opposed to Confederate monuments that she might “go missing” if she continued her stance. The Georgia native issued an apology for his behavior on Monday but rejected any ideas about resigning from his position.
The Spencer flap and dust-up with Sarah Palin over her participation in the show have equated to a ratings spike for the freshman show. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that 2.8 million people watched the This Is America opener across all platforms in the seven days since its premiere. An estimated 1 million viewers tuned in for the show’s debut.