‘Seinfeld’ Soup Nazi Fires Back Over Gun Advertising

“No T-shirt for you!”

The Soup Nazi, a.k.a. actor Larry Thomas who played the role on the Seinfeld sitcom, got boiling mad when a gun manufacturer put his likeness on a T-shirt protesting New York’s new strict gun law.

Serbu Firearms of Tampa put the Soup Nazi on a shirt with the phrase “No Serbu for You!” Owner and Second Amendment supporter Mark Serbu says his company stopped selling its semi-automatic sniper rifle to the NYPD because private citizens in the Empire State can no longer purchase it under the New York’s recently enacted Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, a law that is already subject to a legal challenge.

When Thomas got wind of the advertising campaign with his likeness, he wasn’t pleased. “I own the rights to my image as the Soup Nazi. Serbu did not ask my permission, and Facebook won’t take the image down. Not only did they do this without my authorization, but also I am an advocate of gun control. I have seen my face on T-shirts, random objects on eBay in the past, but politically this is the most offensive thing I have seen involving me as the Soup Nazi.”

On Serbu’s Facebook page, Thomas wrote “No you can’t use The Soup Nazi cause it’s me and you haven’t got my permission.” Judging by the tenor of the postings, Thomas isn’t making any new friends on Serbu’s page. And when a Facebook fan of Serbu replied that he didn’t think anyone knows who is, Thomas replied that “Well I don’t know who you are but does that mean I’m allowed to make tee shirts out of your face?”

Serbu has dropped the idea of using the Soup Nazi on the T-shirt, however, and the image apparently is no longer available on Facebook. The company is accepting suggestions on its Facebook page for a replacement T-shirt.

The Soup Nazi appeared in a Seinfeld episode that originally aired back in November 1995 and was inspired by a real, very high-strung soup vendor in New York City. Thomas was nominated for an Emmy for his performance. In the Seinfeld episode, the Soup Nazi’s signature catchphrase, “No Soup for You!,” was used on any customer that got on his nerves for any reason.

[Image credit: Luigi Novi]