Mr. T on His Snickers Ad Being Yanked Over Gay Controversy

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This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: A few days ago we had an interesting discussion about why this Snickers commercial was pulled off the air in Great Britain.


MR. T, TV PERSONALITY: Speed walking? I pity you, fool. You are a disgrace to the man race. It's time to run like a real man. Do it again, sucker, and there's going to be trouble.


O'REILLY: Now, some gays thought that exposition was insulting, so it is gone.

Joining us from Los Angeles with reaction, the star of the spot, Mr. T himself.

You still got paid. Everything got well. You got more exposure in America because they pulled the ad in Great Britain. Because I've shown it twice now, and other people did as well. But what do you think about the whole thing?

MR. T: Well, first, thank you for having me on your show. Well, for No. 1, it caused a little controversy for my own reputation, and I want to sort of defend myself. If you allow me, I have a little letter I want to read to my fans. Could you allow me a minute or so?

O'REILLY: How about 40 seconds? Yes, go ahead.

MR. T:: Forty seconds. I want to do it right. "To whom it may concern, let my record speak for me. I am not homophobic. I am not a gay basher. I didn't say anything that was negative nor derogatory nor disrespectful nor malicious. And I would never do a commercial if I thought it was offensive to anyone.

Bill, speed walking is an Olympic sport, and that's the way the speed-walkers walk. And the phrase 'get some nuts' refers to Snickers candy bar having more peanuts.

In the movie 'Rocky 3,' I called Rocky Balboa a disgrace to boxing because he wouldn't fight a real man. There was no problem, no complaint. March 31, 1985, the first Wrestlemania, I called this wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper a disgrace to wrestling because he was a dirty wrestler. No problem, no complaints. On 'The A-Team,' I called the bad guys a disgrace because they was harassing helpless people. No problems, no complaint.

I have been pitying fools for 28 years, Bill, and it's never personal. Why didn't someone talk to the actor who played speed walker? He would tell you about my character."

O'REILLY: OK. I don't think anybody thinks that you had anything to do with this Snickers thing, other than driving the thing and shooting the machine gun at the guy and eating the Snickers bar.

But why do you think that Mars, the parent company, pulled it? I mean, if what you say is true, it was just a speed walker, mocking that, has no gay implication. Why did they pull it?

MR. T: I don't know. Maybe they worry about the pressure or something like that. So you know, it's a controversy. You know.

O'REILLY: Sure, sure.

MR. T: Myself, I'm a fighter. You know, I fight. If I did something wrong, I admit it. But it's not wrong, like I said.

O'REILLY: Now you guys — when you guys were shooting the spot, all right, where did you shoot it?

MR. T: We shot it in Long Beach. That's a good point, Bill. You know, we set this in Long Beach. It was in January. It was about three or four days.

Let me tell you something special about the actor who played the speed walker. He asked me for an autograph. He took pictures. He asked me if I'd say something to his children on the video camera. And that's why I say — in the neighborhood, talk to the people in the neighborhood. They would tell you about my character. It was a fun set. No...

O'REILLY: Was there ever any — when you saw it or when you were doing it, anybody say, you know, this might be misinterpreted as a mocking of gays? Did that ever happen?

MR. T: No, Bill, because there was never no thing like that, you know. Because my character, like, you know. The first commercial we did for Snickers, it was about the guys playing soccer. And I drive a tank, Bill. It's so much over the top. A guy so-called hurt his leg. I grab a tank and crash over a couple cars and come on to the soccer field and tell him, "You wimp. You're pathetic. You know, stop act — act like a real man." And I hit him with a Snickers. You know, and then I said, "You do that again, you're going to meet my friend, pain."

You know, everybody knows it's not serious. I've never hurt nobody, Bill. I am a tough guy. I trained to be tough. I've conditioned my body to be tough. I'm not a predator. I've been in this business over 30 years. You never heard about me beating nobody up or nothing like that. I don't get in trouble.

O'REILLY: Mr. T, I believe you. Boy, I'm just getting — trying to get to the...

MR. T: I know. Me, too, Bill.

O'REILLY: One last question. If you were gay, would you be offended by this commercial?

MR. T: No, as a matter of fact, because one — there were some guys on the Internet and YouTube, they were saying, "Wait a minute." One guy from London or England said, "I'm gay, and I thought it was funny." You know, I never say nothing derogatory.

O'REILLY: I'd love to take a poll, because I think that's right. I think gays would say, "Hey, this is just funny."

MR. T: That's what I'd like for you to do, Bill. Yes, yes, thank you.

O'REILLY: I don't know if I have access to that kind of poll, Mr. T.

MR. T: Since this is an election year, let the people decide.

O'REILLY: Can you send me some Snickers, by the way?

MR. T: I will, Bill.

O'REILLY: Good to see you, Mr. T.

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