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.