Joss Whedon's Celebrity Political Ad Gets Stinging Republican Response
A GOP-affiliated ad firm posted a response video to Whedon's star-studded Hillary Clinton endorsement, saying it "smacks of arrogance."
One of the nation's largest Republican ad firms is taking Joss Whedon and his pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC to task by mocking several celebrities who appear in the Avengers director's get-out-the-vote ad.
Whedon's PAC is called Save the Day, and his intention is to cut a few dozen videos promoting Clinton over Donald Trump. His first was released last month and features Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and other A-list actors explaining the importance of voting.
In Whedon's video, Don Cheadle presumably refers to Trump, though not by name, as "a racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society," while several other actors plead with viewers to vote.
It was all too much for John Brabender, CEO of BrabenderCox, a firm that has cut 400 ads for Republicans during this election cycle.
Brabender spent $10,000 of the company's money to create a response video starring actors no one will recognize praising their famous counterparts. Playing "normal Americans," the actors in the response video have no idea a presidential election is coming Nov. 8, until, of course, they see Whedon's Save the Day video.
"They're not just acting smart, they are smarter," the normal Americans say about the celebrities. "And thank goodness they make it clear that we must vote for Hillary. I could have made a terrible mistake without their help."
They also call themselves "deplorable" for even considering voting for Trump.
"Normally I have no problem with actors speaking about politics," said Brabender. "But their video smacks of arrogance."
While Republican vice presidential pick Mike Pence is a former client of BrabenderCox, the firm is not working for the Trump campaign. In fact, no one commissioned the video.
Whedon's video was viewed 35 million times in the first 48 hours, while the BrabenderCox video has been watched 8 million times in five days and has been promoted on social media by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Trump's son Eric.
"I'm the first to admit that we don't have their star quality, but that's the point," said Brabender. "In their video, they say their advice should be followed because they're famous and they know better — they're speaking at America, not to America, and someone had to stand up and say so."
Whedon, meanwhile, doesn't seem impressed with the new video. "It's cute how they tried," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
And Ben Sheehan, Save the Day's executive director, said the original video, titled "Important," has surpassed 50 million views since its release a few weeks ago and led to 40,000 new registered voters. "We're quite pleased with that result and have more videos on the way," he told THR.
See the new ad and original video below.