(CNN) – North Carolina Republican congressional candidate B.J. Lawson's campaign said it was "tricked" by a production company after it was revealed that actor Morgan Freeman was not the narrator in Lawson's latest ad, as the campaign had previously claimed.
"We're apologizing to Congressman Price, to the voters, and most of all to Morgan Freeman because this is not the campaign we wanted to run, and not the campaign we have run," Lawson campaign spokesman Martin Avila told CNN.
The narrator's familiar voice immediately raised eyebrows when the ad launched on Friday. Lawson's campaign initially confirmed that the voice was Freeman's on Facebook and on its website on Monday.
But the Oscar-winning actor issued a statement soon after denying any involvement with the campaign.
"These people are lying. I have never recorded any campaign ads for B.J. Lawson and I do not support his candidacy. And, no one who represents me ever has ever authorized the use of my name, voice or any other likeness in support of Mr. Lawson or his candidacy," Freeman said in the statement.
Avila said California-based group MEI Political approached the campaign and offered to produce an ad with Freeman, and the campaign "innocently walked into it."
"If there was any question it wasn't him, we wouldn't have run the ad," Avila said.
The ad is no longer available on YouTube, and it aired on television for only one day, Avila said.
MEI Political did not immediately respond to requests by CNN for comment.
Its website describes itself as a "full service political media company." It lists several high profile Republican candidates among its clients, including former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Avila said he has contacted MEI Political, and the campaign is reviewing its next steps.
But Lawson's opponent in the race for North Carolina's 4th congressional district, Rep. Dave Price, questioned the campaign's explanation.
"This is simply not credible. How can a candidate seriously claim that they had the voice and purported support of a well-known actor like Morgan Freeman without ever having spoken with him?" asked Price campaign spokesman Andrew High.
Price also blasted Lawson for the ad in a statement released shortly after Freeman spoke out.
"This is an unfortunate and desperate attempt to fool voters in the last hours of a campaign. By using Mr. Freeman's good name, BJ Lawson has ruined his own, and he should be ashamed. Now the voters will decide whom they trust," Price said in a statement.