“Poor Al he was a Sharp guy,” begins the description of a gun target firm’s newest “Life-Sized Tactical Mannequin Target.” With a dark skin tone and features that seem to resemble the civil rights figure and MSNBC cable news host Rev. Al Sharpton, the Zombie-looking gun target called “Al Zombie”comes with the disclaimer that “[a]ll Zombies Industries’ products represent fictitious characters and are works of fiction” and “[a]ny resemblance to actual persons (living or dead)” is “entirely coincidental.”
Was “Al Zombie” meant to resemble Rev. Sharpton?
“No,” said Nicholas J. Iannitti, Vice President and Director of Sales for ZMB Industries, LLC, by telephone from the firm’s headquarters in Poway, California. “If you look at our website you can see” our statement that all Zombie target characters are fictitious.
But Zombie Industries, on its Facebook page, attributes what seems like a fictitious quote to a a colleague of Sharp ton’s, who, like him, has criticized Zombie Industries for making a Zombie gun target that seems to resemble President Barack Obama, and that was briefly on display last month at a National Rifle Association convention.
“I don’t know,” said Vice President and Sales Director Nicholas Iannitti, when asked about what seems like a tongue-in-cheek product endorsement attributed to the progressive, nationally syndicated talk radio host Joe Madison on Zombie Industries’ Facebook page. “I wasn’t involved.”
In May Madison was on Sharpton’s MSNBC show PoliticsNation, where they both criticized the presence of “Rocky Zombie,” which they said resembled President Obama, at an NRA convention.
Rev. Sharpton called the target a “stunning, offensive display from the far right,” dubbing it the “Right-Wing Horror Picture Show.” Madison on the same program said, “They are a sorry bunch of people that I can’ t use words for, but I do take offense and I think anyone else, black, white or any other color, would take offense at this.”
Little more than one month later, ZMB Industries decided to apparently make use of the controversy. Now the firm has added what seems to be a mocking quote attributed to Madison on itsFacebook page boasting of another new Zombie mannequin target.
“New Model: Gun Control Lobbyist,” reads the main image on Zombie Industries’ Facebook page. “Lower than a snakes Belly!” reads what seems like a product endorsement on the same page, attributed to “Joe Madison, Radio Host describing Zombie.”
Madison, who now has a program on Sirius XM, could not be reached for comment.