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Political Ad With ‘Hollywood’ Twist Creates Controversy

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Wisconsin political ad with a Hollywood voice over? Or is it?

The first time you listen to it, you might think it sounds like actor Morgan Freeman. But his publicist said that it is not his voice.

The conservative group “Citizens For a Strong America” is behind the ad that attacks Democrat Shelly Moore in the Wisconsin recall race against Republican State Senator Sheila Harsdorf.

We went out on Nicollet Mall to see how people reacted to the ad.

“It sounds like Morgan Freeman,” said Angela Lucking.

Attorney David Olsen with Henson & Efron Professional Association said that’s a problem.

“There are cases out there that refer to it as the fruits of his labor, celebrities work long and hard to build up a persona that’s how they become recognizable to the public,” said Olsen.

Olsen represented Jesse Ventura against the WWE. Ventura claimed his likeness was being used in videos without his consent or without compensation.

The Supreme Court sided for Ventura for a million dollars. He said Freeman could have a similar case. Freeman’s publicist says it’s not his voice.

“If he did not give consent to use his voice, and he was not compensated, he has a case,” said Olsen.

WCCO-TV tried contacting “Citizens For a Strong America” by phone and email, and neither message was returned.

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