Charlie Brotman was expecting a pat on the back, but says instead, he got a kick in the behind.
Brotman, 89, has been the lead announcer of every inaugural parade since 1957, celebrating each president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. Last week, Brotman received an email from President-elect Donald Trump's team, telling him he was not going to participate this year. "I was demoralized, absolutely demoralized," Brotman, who was also the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team, told BuzzFeed News.
In a statement, Boris Epshteyn, the director of communications for Trump's inaugural committee, said that "millions of Americans and countless entertainers have come to recognize Charlie Brotman as the voice of the inaugural parade," and on Jan. 20, he will be honored as "announcer chairman emeritus." The new announcer is Steve Ray, who told WJLA he is "not replacing Charlie. I'm not filling his shoes. I'm really just the guy who's next, because Charlie is irreplaceable."
Since the Trump campaign is struggling to line up top talent for the inaugural events, it seems odd that a well-known personality in Washington won't be participating, but Brotman says he suspects he was ousted because Ray is a Trump supporter. He holds no hard feelings, telling WJLA he hopes Ray does a "spectacular" job, and now that he's had time to process things, Brotman is feeling better about what has transpired; he's trying to decide if he wants to accept the role of "announcer chairman emeritus" and is mulling over "guest announcer" offers he's received from media outlets and networks. Catherine Garcia