Okay, this is getting nuts.
Last Monday, we handed the award for "worst lawyer commercial ever" to McCutcheon and Hammer, P.C., of Alabama. The award was well deserved, as the commercial starred a white guy pretending to be a Chinese guy by exploiting every possible stereotype imaginable -- think blackface, but Asian.
We then issued an update, after the firm denied involvement. And then the story got weirder.
Firm: We Were 'Hacked'
As we previously reported, the firm has issued statements on Facebook and Twitter claiming that their YouTube account was hacked -- an excuse that doesn't make much sense. (If their account was hacked, the video would have appeared on their YouTube channel, not the video producer's page.)
What we think they meant was that they had no involvement in the video, and indeed, from a statement they made to Above the Law, that seems to the firm's stance.
Producer: No, You Hired Us
Definitive Television, the production company behind the video, added a lengthy grammatically-incorrect update to the video's YouTube description this morning, stating, in part:
"We have offered to take down the video with the conditions that McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C. STOP lying about not ordering the video from us, admit they paid, admit they provided the copy a/k/n script, retract the falsehoods, and apologize to us."
The company also claims to have proof that the firm commissioned the ad.
Bonus: Legal Mad Libs
In addition to refusing to take down the video, Jim DeBerry, the star of the video, sent a hilarious response to Above the Law's post, which was also critical of the commercial. Here is a small sample:
"Furthermore, upon your interview request, we have read MR. JOSEPH PATRICE article/blog. Although, we respect your company's right to free speech and Mr. Patrice's 1st amendment right, we read with much disappointment related to his slighted (no pun intended) journalism and unethical behavior. I find it interesting that a New York State Licensed Attorney / Journalist would lack better judgment in his ability to create quality journalism by not holding to the standards of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability. We firmly believe MR. JOSEPH PATRICE statements of racism when done with intentional malice and to damage our name for gain of revenue and promotion on his article through your business." [again, sic, sic and more sic]
We can't top Popehat's assessment of the letter, which compares it to a Nigerian email scam. ("Jim DeBerry's idiotic legal threat, which I've linked, shows that he's less literate than the average penis-enlargement spammer.")
Personally, we think he decided to play legal Mad Libs with a copy of Black's Law Dictionary. We respondeat superior your intentional malice and reckless libel behavior!
The question remains: who is at fault here, besides everyone? It seems that there are two possible scenarios:
- The firm commissioned the commercial, and is now pretending otherwise after every major blog on the Internet picked up on the story and tore into them.
- Someone else hired Definitive TV, taking them up on the prank/joke service that Mr. Wong Fong Shu offers. (For less than "5,000 yen!")
So, was it a regretful law firm, with the racist ad copy, on YouTube, or was it a producer, with a prank, that will soon be in a courtroom? Only time will tell, but we'll certainly be watching.
Care to join the Law Firm Ad edition of the classic game Clue? Tweet us your predictions @FindLawLP.
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