Adam McKay Takes On Gun Lobby "Lap Dogs" in Congress

Adam McKay - H 2014
Victoria Will/Invision/AP

The 'Anchorman' writer-director has partnered with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Writer-director Adam McKay has teamed up with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to call out "lap dog" members of Congress who have taken money from the corporate gun lobby while blocking legislation that would expand background checks on gun sales.

The parody video, embedded below, shows fake congressmen begging, like dogs, for cash handouts. After an introduction about real lap dogs, the canine kind, a voiceover says, "There's another kind of lap dog that's just as docile and submissive: members of Congress that belong to the corporate gun lobby. If you've got a treat or campaign money, he'll do whatever they want."

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The accompanying website lists specific members of Congress that the Brady Campaign says took money from the gun lobby in exchange for blocking legislation to expand background checks. The Brady Campaign claims that more than half the members of the 113th Congress fulfill this lap dog criteria.

The biggest lap dogs, according to the site, include House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz.

"If a lap dog could serve in Congress, they would do whatever the gun lobby wanted for a piece of bacon or a doggy treat. But lap dogs can't be elected to Congress, so the gun lobby got these shameless congressmen to sit and roll over for campaign checks," McKay said in a statement. "They are good little doggies who don't give a hang about the safety of innocent Americans. It's time they were finally recognized for their blind obedience to the almighty dollar."

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In addition to writing and directing both Anchorman films, McKay wrote and directed Step Brothers and Talladega Nights and serves as Will Ferrell's producing partner in their Gary Sanchez production company. He also recently helped re-write Ant-Man.

The website also includes an interactive map allowing users to determine whether their representatives meet this lap dog criteria.

"Sometimes comedy is the best way to call attention to a serious issue, and you do not find an issue more serious than this one. These 'Lap Dog' politicians are putting the financial interests of the gun industry ahead of the safety of the American people. Americans are literally dying as a result, and it is time for all of us to say enough," Brady Campaign president Dan Gross said in a statement. "Even worse, when we look at the money the corporate gun lobby has given directly to these politicians, it is shocking how little money it takes to turn them into 'lap dogs.' We are very fortunate to be working with Adam McKay, one of the great comedy geniuses of all time, to help give this deadly and serious issue the attention it deserves."

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McKay tells The Hollywood Reporter that the collaboration came about after he and Gross had a conversation about universal background checks and how, the Brady Campaign claims, nine out of 10 Americans and three out of four NRA members support them. "The only reason that these congressmen aren't supporting it or they're filibustering against it is money: that is the only reason," McKay says. He recalls that he compared them to lap dogs responding to treats. "They have no conscience at all. They're completely shameless. They're certainly all primped up and looking good in their suits with their perfect haircuts," McKay adds of the Congressional "lap dogs."

"We liked the image of the dog in the purse. That was the one that seemed so appropriate," McKay says. "You just pictured [NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre holding a purse with a little Cocker Spaniel peeking out of it. And we started laughing about that."

Although McKay made some pretty strong statements about Congress in connection with the launch of Monday's campaign, the writer-director says he had no reluctance about expressing his views.

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"This is as safe an issue as you could ever take a stand on," he says. "This is just legalized corruption, basically, so this is an issue that I don't think anyone has a problem standing up for."

He was concerned, however, about offending real dogs and wanted to take a minute to apologize to any canines he may have slighted.

"There's probably nothing more insulting you can say to a lapdog than to compare that poor creature to Mitch McConnell," McKay says. "And lapdogs provide a great service of joy and enjoyment to our country and we don't in any way mean to diminish that…With all apologies to lap dogs…We realized after the fact that no creature deserves to be compared to Ted Cruz, whether it's a dog or a bat or a possum."

10:58 a.m. This story has been updated with information and quotes from an interview with McKay and Gross.