Actor Lauren Ash does not appreciate having pictures of her aired and being called a moron on national TV. Especially when they've got the wrong person.
"Try fact checking before you start putting someone's face attached to an event that has nothing to do with them," she told me today, about David "The Menzoid" Menzies's opinion piece, which aired this morning on his Moron Of The Morning segment.
The segment has since been taken down from Sun News's site and the network has issued a statement to Ash ("we apologize for the confusion") from their Twitter account. Journalist Menzies will issue a public on-air apology to Ash.
For two years running, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has notoriously missed the city's Pride Parade, which many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community see as a slap in the face. So when the mayor announced he was inviting the public to a September 7 barbecue at his mother's Etobicoke home, Lauren Ash began a Facebook event for supporters to peacefully discuss LGBT issues with the mayor at the party.
But it was a different Lauren Ash.
The Second City alumnus Lauren Ash says the network made no attempt to reach her; she's been in the Muskokas for the past several days.
"I found out this morning, because somebody posted congratulations on my Facebook wall, with a link to the video," says Ash, who says she thinks the idea of the discussion is wonderful.
"I have nothing but respect for the LGBT community and this event," she says. "But I think it changes the tone of the events if there are images of a straight comedian in the piece."
Ash, who last week won a Canadian Comedy Award for best performance by a female in a TV series, says she's also concerned for the other people in the images used by Sun News: Leslie Seiler (another Second City alum, and Ash's comedy partner in the sketch duo CORY), as well as comics Jim Annan, Scott Montgomery and Hilary Doyle. Their images are being used for an event for which they're not involved, she says.
In the few hours since she found out about it, Ash has been in touch with an entertainment lawyer, who is drafting a letter to send to the network to retract and make an apology.
And the comic also says a friend called the network on her behalf for an explanation but received an angry response and a hang-up.
Ash doesn't hold back her own feelings about the mayor and his response to Pride.
"It's thinly veiled homophobia," she says. "If you're mayor, it's your duty to support all the groups within the city. The fact that he is not supporting the Pride Parade feels very creepy and disappointing."
Ironically, at last week's Canadian Comedy Awards, Ash ended her acceptance speech by thanking "my life partner, Leslie Seiler."
"I hope I didn't offend anybody with that," she says. I was there: the line got a big knowing laugh.
And is she upset about the use of the word "moron"?
"Yes," she says. "Unless I've done something to earn it."
Since Ash tweeted about the mix-up this morning, people on Twitter have started a meme called #wrongLaurenAsh
Some of the clever entries include:
@lauren_ash to marry Nickleback front man Chad Kroeger! Life partner Leslie Seiler devastated. (from @TheCraigLauzon)
@elisasboy72: This just in: Sun News promises to turn into a 24-hour pro wrestling station because telling the truth is "too darn hard."
@TheDavidShore: I hear she recently stole 10 000 gallons of Maple Syrup.
@lauren_ash played the part of "chair" in Clint Eastwood's "empty chair Obama" speech (from @carlyjay)