Ford Stiffs Paid Debate Actors by Giving Them MOGA Bling Instead of Promised $75 in Cash
TORONTO — PC leader Doug Ford has been accused of living up to his “finding efficiencies” promises by paying 30 actors hired for the leaders’ debate 1/3 less cash than the full $75 they were promised.
Instead, bit actors like 28-year-old ‘Dave’ (not his real name) say they were handed $50 in five dollar bills and a Make Ontario Great Again (MOGA) hat that sells online for $23.99.
“What the hell! I can’t eat a hat,” the Toronto native says he told Ford when the candidate met quickly with the actors to pay them in the basement parking lot of CityNews where the debate was held.
“I was mad. I told him we were promised we’d get $75 for pretending to be his supporters…he still had TV makeup on and was sweating…a lot. I waved a damn sign and shouted and pushed aside a few NDP people and I just said flat-out that he owes me the full amount.”
“He did some math on his fingers and then told me that $75 for 5 hours of work would mean paying $15 an hour and that’s too high. He muttered ‘efficiencies’ a couple of time and then got in his black Lincoln SUV thing and drove off.”
“Not cool, Mr. Ford. Not cool at all.”
Other paid actors told CBC that they too got $25 less pay than promised with some getting cash and a MOGA hat and others getting cash and a Ford-autographed t-shirt. At least two actors got cash and a signed 8 by 10 photograph of a smiling, shotgun-holding Doug Ford on “some sort of duck hunt or something”.
One U of T student says she was a bit creeped out when Ford gave her her $50 and a Ford Nation beach towel before saying “You’ve got a nice smile on your face there”.
Ford told media earlier this morning that he had had no prior knowledge of anyone at Ford Nation hiring actors to create an exaggerated crowd outside the debate but tweeted this afternoon that he has ‘since taken care of it’.
Several of the actors who spoke to CBC say they will file a labour complaint and ‘Dave’ says he’s going to try to figure out something creative to do with his MOGA hat.
“I’ll never wear it so I’m open to people sending ideas,” he laughed.
“Maybe I’ll fill it with mud and grow a pot plant in it…maybe use it to pick up my dog’s poop. Who knows?”
Sue Dunum — Reportering for The Lapine