The actor best known for his role as the “Soup Nazi” on “Seinfeld” is incensed that gun manufacturer Serbu Firearms used his image on a T-Shirt and a Facebook campaign to protest the rash of New York gun laws recently enacted.
Serbu, which manufacturers .50-caliber sniper rifles, now refuses to sell their products to any New York police agency. “No Serbu for you!” seemed like a natural to the gunmaker.
According to the New York Post:
The “Seinfeld” star was horrified to see his image — along with the phrase “No Serbu for You!” — being used to help promote Tampa-based Serbu’s campaign against the ban on the sale of defined assault rifles in New York. The company, founded by mechanical engineer Mark Serbu, is known for producing the $7,000, BFG-50 semi-automatic 51.5-inch sniper rifle, one weapon banned under the 2013 NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
“We have a policy of selling to state law-enforcement agencies only what is allowed to be sold to private citizens in that state,” a Serbu spokesman said online. “Since the passage of the NY SAFE act, the BFG-50A is considered an assault weapon, and as such is no longer available to private citizens in the state of New York.”
Thomas was not pleased by the Serbu ad campaign.
“I own the rights to my image as the Soup Nazi,” he said. “Serbu did not ask my permission, and Facebook won’t take the image down. Not only did they do this without my authorization, but also I am an advocate of gun control.”
Thomas admitted that his anger was based more in the politics than the use of his image. “I have seen my face on T-shirts, random objects on eBay in the past, but politically this is the most offensive thing I have seen involving me as the Soup Nazi.”
Mark Serbu told the Post, “I refused to sell my rifles to the NYPD, and when I talked about it online, it blew up like crazy. Everybody liked the idea of a gun law biting the government on the ass. There are only two manufacturers of semi-automatic 50-caliber rifles in the US, and neither will sell to the NYPD. This is like, ‘Screw you, New York.’ People are less safe without our rifles to protect you.
“Larry Thomas doesn’t want his face on our shirt . . . He’s an actor, he doesn’t want to be involved with something as hot-button as guns. We are just going to shoot him. Only joking. We don’t want to get into a lawsuit; we’ll change the shirts.”
A check of Serbu’s Facebook page shows a T-Shirt with the iconic “I [heart] NY,” with the image of the heart crossed out with two assault rifles.
Read more at The New York Post.
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