Neighbor Charles Ramsey became a national hero after he helped Amanda Berry bust out of the Cleveland house of horrors where Ariel Castro had allegedly been holding her and two other women and a child for a decade. Ramsey was one of the first people on the scene when Amanda first pried open a door and screamed for help -- and he went on to describe in colorful detail about how he helped kick in the door to the house and called 911.
One of the things that made Ramsey so famous, besides his frank and funny personality, was the fact that he was eating hamburgers when he first heard Amanda scream. He repeated that fact several times in interviews, which soon led to several offers for a lifetime supply of free burgers and burgers named in his honor. But Ramsey says he doesn't want any burgers. Has he become a vegetarian?
Local restaurants in Ohio have banded together to not only offer Ramsey free burgers, but many of them are naming burgers after him, including the restaurant that he works at, Hodge's. But Ramsey says no burgers for him, thanks. He said in a statement:
I never told these people they could use my name for this.
His lawyer (he has a lawyer now!) added:
Ramsey also wants everyone to know that he does not endorse the consortium of Northeast Ohio restaurants who are offering 'Ramsey Burgers' or who are promoting that Ramsey can receive free burgers from them for life.
So is Ramsey ungrateful for these burger honors? Is he concerned about his health?
Ramsey says that people should "do things that will help the victims" instead of naming burgers after him. And I believe he means that. This was, after all, the man who said to give the reward money he might have received to the victims.
However, he's no dummy either, and he's also is interested in keeping people from cashing in on his name. His lawyer, who happens to be an intellectual property lawyer, is also fighting an online videogame called "Burger Bash" that uses his likeness. Ramsey is reportedly "disgusted" by the game, which apparently depicts him and Ariel Castro "throwing burgers at each other." You see why Ramsey has a lawyer!
Type "Charles Ramsey T-shirts" into Google and be astonished at all of the images that pop up -- and doubtful any of them are paying Charles.
When you suddenly get fame like Ramsey did, you've got to run around putting the kibosh on people and companies cashing in on it who aren't offering you a cut. And I don't mean a cut of prime burger. And yes, wouldn't it be better if everyone stopped trying to cash in and gave to the victims instead? Hear, hear, Charles!
Do you think Ramsey is smart or ungrateful?
Editor's Note: Ramsey has reportedly signed a deal with a celebrity speaking engagement firm.
Image via Red Bubble