Borat Banned from Oscars
The Academy prohibits Sacha Baron Cohen from attending ceremony.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: February 24th, 2012
e's no stranger to publicity stunts, and now Sacha Baron Cohen's antics have gotten him banned from this year's Oscars. Even though he's one of the stars of Hugo, which is nominated for eleven awards, the Academy has pulled his tickets for the 84th annual ceremony. Why?
Paramount, the studio behind Hugo, told Deadline, "Unless [the Academy is] assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the Red Carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show." Apparently, Baron Cohen had alluded to the idea that he would walk the Red Carpet in full costume as his character in the upcoming film The Dictator, which is also being produced by Paramount.
"The Red Carpet is not about stunting." — The Academy
But, as bad publicity against the Academy rolled in, they tried to explain their actions, saying that Baron Cohen wasn't necessarily banned, they just wouldn't issue his tickets unless he gives them assurance ahead of time that he will not show up in costume and that he will not promote his new movie on the Red Carpet. So, unless he does that? Still banned.
As for why the Academy would act so harshly towards one actor when seemingly everyone on the Red Carpet shamelessly self-promotes, Deadline speculates that, given the ceremony will be broadcast to 200 countries, perhaps the movie's plot wouldn't sit well with some people. The plot of the movie is a spoof of a "heroic story of a Middle Eastern dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to the country he so lovingly oppressed." It's clear to see how that might be offensive to some, assuming they are ruthless dictators. Still the Academy remains staunch in their views, saying, "We would hope that every studio knows this is a bad idea. The Red Carpet is not about stunting."
Except it is. In 2000, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, dressed up as Jennifer lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow, donning the actresses' most famous gowns for the event, and in 2010, Ben Stiller appeared as a presenter in full Avatar makeup.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, but we have to guess that Baron Cohen just won't show up; in 2007, he was asked to present at the Oscars and he said he'd only do it if he could do it as his character Borat. He was swiftly told "No," and in turn, he stayed home.