I’m not sure where this falls on the Ethic Alarms Apology Scale.
I admit that I’m never heard of John Morgan, but I am told he is a well known attorney in Orlando, Florida, and like so many trial attorneys, a character. Morgan keeps his name before the public in part by posting self-made videos on Twitter posted ( #Johnin60secs ) videos where he gives spontaneous running commentaries on life in general in the conversational and engaging style that makes him a successful litigator. It is a clever marketing approach: I’m pretty sure it gets around Florida’s strict lawyer advertising rules. For example, in one video he described his head as being “ the size of a watermelon,” which is obviously hyperbole. In a legal advertising, a lawyer can’t me make any false or misleading statement or one that can’t be verified.
But I digress. There is a danger any time anyone, no matter how glib or accustomed to speaking off-script, does so for public consumption, as the late Rush Limbaugh, acres of crushed”shockjocks,” Michael Richards and I, among others, can attest. And so it was that Morgan, in one of his videos, was riffing on fast food franchises, and said about Arby’s,
“The thing about Arby’s that I don’t understand is: How does it stay in business? There are certain places that I haven’t been to in 10, 15, 20 fucking years. Like who goes to Bojangles? I drive by Bojangles, who’s there? I drive by Krystals, unless you’re drunk as shit at three in the morning, who goes to Krystals? How do they stay in business? The one that I really worry about is Arby’s. I have not been into an Arby’s forever and ever and ever. How the hell do they stay in business? I don’t know. I think it has to do with organized crime and perhaps money laundering, I don’t know.”
How an experienced lawyer would imply, even in jest, that a business was involved in illegal activities, I don’t know. It was highly predictable that Arby’s would have a problem with this, and sure enough, some behind the scenes negotiations occurred between the lawyer and the company’s legal department. What they settled on was for Morgan to make another video in the ridiculous outfit pictured above, at his vacation home in Maui. Where did I go wrong? But I’m digressing again. In addition to saying that he’s considering opening his own Arby’s franchise on the Hawaian island, whicg currently is Arby’s-less, Morgan says,
“Several weeks ago I did a video about Arby’s and I was concerned that Arby’s never seem to have anybody in the parking lot, while at the same time, Chick-fil-A seemed like a vaccination destination. So guess what? Arby’s sent me this ‘We got the meat’ sweatsuit, this logo hat but more importantly, they had flown in a Jamocha Shake, Beef ‘n Cheddar, curly fries from Honolulu, We don’t have an Arby’s here in Maui. And I want to tell you all this: I haven’t been to Arby’s in a long, long, long time, but this stuff is flat out delicious.”
At least they didn’t make him dress up as a steer.
So the question is: Is this an apology, or just a retraction? Morgan never said he was sorry.
15 thoughts on “Quasi-Apology Of The Month: Attorney John Morgan”
His first video was a joke made at Arby’s expense. The second was a joke made at his. It’s not an apology at all. A coerced tit-for-tat, maybe?
This is what constitutes an amiable resolution to a what most would regard as a joke. If Arby’s is satisfied that is all that matters especially given that Arby’s put him in the suit.
Maybe we need more of these types of resolutions rather than insincere apologies that are forced by the perpetually aggrieved. The question is will Krystal’s send him a bottle of Stoly to get him drunk as shit at 3 am so he stops in.
Seems like a win-win for both parties. Morgan is an attention whore, this gets him more attention. Arby’s gets free advertising and comes across as a good sport and not a stuffy corporation, much in line with their current advertising.
Apparently, ripping on Arby’s is kind of a thing. Not a thing that I understand, but Arby’s is the butt of a lot of jokes.
This was a joke that strayed very close to a defamation claim. I can appreciate a joke, but money laundering?
I agree with the others. Not really an apology, but a humorous retraction for a joke that fell flat.
I agree with Chris. Arby’s used a sillybvideo to its advantage. If he is a local celebrity, then going nuts on him will only hurt the company and its brand. We have an attorney in the Houston area who calls himself “The Texas Hammer” and runs around with a bigass sledgehammer standing on top of cars and trucks. Very obnoxious but effective. I don’t know how his ads are approved by tge stupid advertising committee for the Texas State Bar, but hey, . . .
I’d call it a command performance.
That’s about right!
I’m sure he and his PR firm are firmly in the “any publicity is good publicity” camp.
I can’t believe you haven’t heard of John Morgan, but perhaps you’re just too far north. He is one of the named partners in the Morgan & Morgan personal injury law firm. As far north as Louisville Kentucky and probably farther, they are a ubiquitous presence on television in relentless and annoying “For the people!” advertisements.
I loathe this firm from the unplumbed depths of my soul, and Morgan as well, since he is the front man for the firm’s inescapable ads. They are even more annoying than the similarly-ubiquitous local personal injury firms. They are a shit-stain on my television, and I couldn’t objectively discuss this matter because of intense personal bias against Morgan and his firm.
I wouldn’t hire them to represent me if they could get me a settlement in excess of the national debt.
No, Jack isn’t too far north. Their ads show up regularly on Boston-centric cable nets.
I literally tune out all national and local law firm ads…just like the animal rescue ads. They cause me distress.
I approve. I try to do the same. Alas, I apparently lack the mental discipline to effectively do so.
Ah truth in advertising – a whole branch of law I don’t know much about. But, saying one’s head is the size of a watermelon sounds truthful. Watermelons come in many sizes and head size is quite common at my fruit market.
But since it is an expression, do people take it literally?
Every box of RaisinBran has two scoops of raisins, no matter the size of the box or the count of raisins. There is no standard scoop size against which the raisin count/volume is measured.
Legal advertising restrictions are a whole different creature. It’s slowly changing, but many states, for example, still prohibit lawyer ads from using metaphors.
I don’t know why he is picking on Arby’s when Burger King exists. I see people at Arby’s. I go in Arby’s and see other people there. I rarely go to Burger King and when I do, I am the only person there. The Burger King in my town shut down after they were caught selling drugs at the drive through. A few years later, they opened up a new one and had $1 Whopper coupons. I went the second day they opened…at noon…and was the only one there. They also got my order wrong. In the years since, I have never seen more than 1 car in the drive through or 3 cars in the parking lot. I don’t know how they stay in business.
In high school, I worked at McDonald’s. Not 50 feet away was a Burger King. When we were really busy, there was no way to go to the bathroom, there was always a line and employees didn’t have time to wait in line. So, we just went to Burger King. Once, we had a completely filled lobby, a line that stretched out the door and on to the sidewalk, and 5 buses in our parking lot. I went to Burger King to use the restroom and there was…no one in line and 2 people way in the back at a table. This was only 50 feet away from the line at McDonald’s. How do you stay in business like that?