Dumped inaugural parade announcer: ‘I thought I was going to commit suicide’
The man who has announced every inaugural parade for the past 60 years, whom President-elect Donald Trump did not invite back this year, said he thought he “was going to commit suicide” after he heard he’d been replaced.
Brotman learned he wouldn’t be announcing what would have been his 12th inaugural parade in an email sent to him by the Trump team.
“I was disappointed because I thought I would be the announcer, and then when I read the email, I thought I was going to commit suicide. It was really terrible,” Charles Brotman told CNN on Monday.
Brotman, 89, has announced every presidential inaugural parade since Dwight Eisenhower’s in 1957.
“I looked at my email, then I got the shock of my life,” he said. “I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach.”
The Trump team has offered Brotman the title of “Announcer Chairman Emeritus.”
“I was destroyed,” Brotman told ABC News’ D.C. affiliate WJLA last week.
Brotman told WJLA he has not decided whether he will attend this year’s parade.
Brotman, once known as the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team, told CNN the email informed him that the Trump team had picked a different announcer — Steve Ray, a 58-year-old freelance radio announcer — to announce the Jan. 20 parade.
Both Ray and Brotman have praised each other since the decision was made.
“I want him to do good,” Brotman said of Ray.
Ray, meanwhile, likened Brotman to a Washington, D.C. fixture.
“All of us think of Charlie as much of the Washington landscape as any building,” Ray told The Washington Post. “I’m on top of the world. From my point of view, I am not filling his shoes, I’m not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who’s next.”
The Trump team released a statement on the decision.
“Since 1957, millions of Americans and countless entertainers have come to recognize Charlie Brotman as the voice of the inaugural parade,” the statement said.
“The Presidential Inaugural Committee will be proud to honor Charlie as Announcer Chairman Emeritus on January 20. We are thrilled for Steve Ray to be introducing a new generation of Americans to the grand traditions of the inaugural parade.”
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