Donald Trump’s team has replaced Charlie Brotman, who has been the announcer of every presidential parade since 1957, with a former volunteer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Brotman had been the inauguration announcer since President Dwight Eisenhower was sworn in, but this year Donald Trump’s team isn’t bringing him back.
This might have been his last go to be the inauguration announcer; in another four years he will be 93.
Brotman says he is "heartbroken" to learn that he wouldn’t be announcing what would have been his 12th inaugural parade.
“I’ve been doing this for 60 years and for somebody to take over the announcing duties from me, I was devastated,” said Brotman.
While paraphrasing the email he received from the Presidential Inaugural Committee he said, “You’re terrific, you’re wonderful, but you’re not gonna be the announcer this year.”
The 89-year-old announcer will be replaced on Jan. 20 by Steve Ray, a 58-year-old Trump campaign volunteer who is also a local freelance announcer and audio engineer.
A statement released by the Presidential Inaugural Committee said, “We are thrilled for Steve Ray to be introducing a new generation of Americans to the grand traditions of the inaugural parade.”
Brotman has received multiple invitations to be a "guest announcer" for the inauguration on major network television news stations.
“Don’t get me wrong, this [recognition] was a long time coming. No one’s ever even said thank you in the whole 60 years. I was expecting a pat on the back. Instead, I got a kick in the butt,” he said.
While wishing his successor good luck, the heartbroken inaugural parade announcer said, “I’m saying, you know what? Good luck, young man. I hope you do spectacular.”
On the other hand, Ray said he doesn’t see himself as Brotman’s replacement, but as the next announcer in line for the coveted role.
“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," said Ray.
There is no act too petty for Trump to carry it out. Inaugural announcer replaced w/Trump supporter. https://t.co/2LjQGPSwmy— Glenn Fleishman (@GlennF) January 8, 2017
The levels of petty this man is stooping to. Inaugural parade announcer *since 1957* not invited back in that role https://t.co/1zuORXTvAX— April (@ReignOfApril) January 8, 2017
While Brotman still does not know the official reason for his replacement, he says that he has "ascertained" that the position was being used by Trump to show his gratitude for Ray’s work on the campaign.
He added that he was still unsure whether he will attend this year's parade.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Carlos Barria