Koch brothers slam 'guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey'
August 7th, 2012
11:10 AM ET
2 years ago

Koch brothers slam 'guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey'

(CNN) - Actor Zach Galifianakis may be known for his less-than family-friendly sense of humor, but billionaires David and Charles Koch demonstrated Tuesday they don't find him so funny.

The comedian is co-starring with Will Ferrell in the upcoming comedy, "The Campaign," which features a pair of wealthy donors called the "Motch brothers," played by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Galifianakis, whose uncle served as a U.S. congressman from North Carolina, told the New York Daily News on Monday that it was "pretty obvious" the Motch brothers, a pair of wealthy donors who attempt to manipulate political campaigns, were crafted after David and Charles Koch, best known as the "Koch brothers."

The Koch brothers are high-profile figures in the Republican Party who support conservative and libertarian causes. Backers of the group Americans for Prosperity, the pair of industrialists are expected to spend tens – if not hundreds – of millions on Republican causes this year.

In July, the Kochs hosted a fund-raiser for Mitt Romney in Southampton, which drew multiple protests from Occupy Wall Street crowds.

In the interview Monday, "The Hangover" star wasted no time expressing how he feels about the real-life industrialist titans.

"I disagree with everything they do. They are creepy and there is no way around that. It's not freedom what they are doing," Galifianakis said.

Apparently, the real Koch brothers weren't so amused. A spokesman for the industrialist titans released a statement, chiding the actor's comments.

"Last we checked, the movie is a comedy. Maybe more to the point is that it's laughable to take political guidance or moral instruction from a guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey on a bus in Bangkok," said Philip Ellender, referring to a scene from the movie "The Hangover Part II."

Ellender continued: "We disagree with his uninformed characterization of Koch and our beliefs. His comments, which appear to be based on false attacks made by our political opponents, demonstrate a lack of understanding of our longstanding support of individual freedom, freedom of expression, and constitutional rights."

"The Campaign" is produced by Warner Bros., which, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.

– CNN's Mark Preston and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: David and Charles Koch
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Ben

    The Southamptons? Last time I checked there was only one.

    August 7, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. awasis

    Must of hit a nerve. Good for Galifianakis. These guys are puppet masters of the GOP.

    August 7, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. NotFooledByDistractions

    Whew, the kochs sure have thin skin.

    August 7, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. mike

    The Koch brothers are throwing millions at Romney Hood who takes from the poor and middle class and gives it to the rich 1%s .

    August 7, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. @OmegaRaiel

    I find the comedy of Zach G. quite unfunny. But, it's hilarious compared to the Koch Bros. The only freedom they stand for is the freedom to buy democracy.

    August 7, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Karl Jonas

    Hire that Ellender guy to write the screenplay for Zach's next comedy. He's hilarious! ... constitutional rights ... roflmao!

    August 7, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Vincent

    Donating hundreds of millions to the republican party, and people actually believe they dont be expecting that to be repaid to them a thousand fold? :D
    SuperPacs have allowed wealthy individuals to buy politicians even more than they were able to before. As a more conservative leaning independent, its worrying how republicans are swallowing their lines about more 'freedom' and 'responsibility' when theyre hijacking everything the US has stood for. Putting all the power into a few wealthy individuals hands is not what will be best for the nation. Otherwise why did the founding fathers get rid of the monarchy? Are we replacing the British monarchy with this new wave of wealthy elites?

    August 7, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. drake mallard

    Ruin the party? These people aren't worried about us. They're not worried about anything. They're rich. No matter what happens, these people just keep applauding.

    The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

    Only the fat cats change — not their methods and not their pet bugaboos
    (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government
    “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources
    of their fortunes remain fairly constant.

    August 7, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Maxx

    Sorry Mr. Spokesman, but Zach's characterization is much more accurate.

    August 7, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Wake up people

    The Motch Brothers?? Oh now I have to see this. Not a big Will Ferrel fan, he comes across more as stupid and goofy than funny, IMO. But I will check this one out.

    August 7, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Frank

    Okay, a blog reports this story. I cannot really believe The Koch Brothers have time to comment on this. CNN check your sources. This is a blog from a weirdo right winger who claims The Kochs said this. This blogger has a history of mistruths. How can you use this as a source? Zach what's his name is a comic and to take on giant influencers like these two is his job. Lighten up. Jesus, this is news?

    August 7, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Well you know how the saying goes: If the shoe fits....... The Koch brothers are no modern day Bruce Wayne's. What have they done for you lately besides pollute the environment and corrupt our politics? This is what Willard means when he says "corporations are people my friend."

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    August 7, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. IndeePendant

    Gari should now thank Kochs for promoting his earlier (Hangover) movie, in addition to promoting 'The Campaign'. I am more compelled watch the movie now:) Free publicity. Gari must be thinking – 'keep it coming baby koch'..

    August 7, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. PJ

    Funny thing, the Koch brothers acknowledge that they recognize themselves in this movie. Just because they have
    a lot of money doesn't mean they can't be laughed at. They are doing more to destroy America than any movie.
    As for their indignation over "moral instruction", that in itself is laughable.

    August 7, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. The Other Dale

    Why so hyper-senstive over what some actor says? Or are they saying that their campaign for the Tea Party is so weak that even an actor can sway more people than they?

    August 7, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Pander Bear

    Wow, it's not enough that the Koch Brothers want to control the government, now they want to control all media. Pretty scary stuff cloaked under the guise of "freedom".

    August 7, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Wes B.

    Nothing is more OBSCENE than the Koch brothers.

    August 7, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. drake mallard

    Koch Brothers=fox news=gop

    August 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Dan

    Using money to buy elections is not freedom.

    Our ancestors fled other countries because the wealthy over taxed to pay for their lavish expenses. History has taught us when money buys political leaders, countries fail. It's only when money is taken out of politics does freedom expand.

    August 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Billy, NYC

    Koch brothers – Name a price for the President job and Democracy in the US. We do not use coupons.
    United States of Koch and Brothers (exclude the poor, women and non-white); one state at a time.

    August 7, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. California Gary

    The Koch brothers are engaging in a debate with a guy who is just trying to be funny? Really? Do they feel the need to bully and intimidate everyone on the planet? This tells us all we need to know about the Koch brothers.

    August 7, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. ps

    Zach G's characterization of the Koch brothers is spot on. Their representative is blowing smoke and he knows it! Go Zach!

    August 7, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Myviewis

    This is just Hollywood trying to help Obama get re-elected which is why the movie came out now. This is as much as the bad taste of the tv show Political Animals in which Sigourney Weaver plays a character written after Hillary Clinton, just bad taste but anything to help voters stir towards Obama.

    August 7, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. demwit

    Great Story CNN! Lets keep the focus off the economy and onto those who should be silenced.

    August 7, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Thomas

    @Myviewis
    This is just Hollywood trying to help Obama get re-elected which is why the movie came out now. This is as much as the bad taste of the tv show Political Animals in which Sigourney Weaver plays a character written after Hillary Clinton, just bad taste but anything to help voters stir towards Obama.

    And what would you prefer , maybe starting another war !
    I'm sure Romney will do that if elected. And all five of his sons can avoid military service , just as all Romney's have .

    August 7, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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