June 26th, 2012 by edsel
There was no truth to the rumors that ‘Bruno’ actor Sacha Baron Cohen was wanted in Kansas or Arizona. Or that he could be deported. (There was, however, that one hotel during the filming of ‘Bruno’ that he could never go back to- but more on that later.)
A representative of the controversial comedian informed TMZ that the reports of Cohen’s alleged fugitive status in two US states and his possible deportation were highly exaggerated.
The Inquisitr elaborated on the reports, which started from an interview with the Sunday Express. “There are towns in certain states that I can’t shoot in,” ‘Bruno’ actor Cohen told the paper. “If I get arrested,” he claimed, “My visa could be taken away.”
But Sacha Baron Cohen did have a close run-in with American law enforcement. In the same interview with the Sunday Express, the 40-year-old Cohen said that he narrowly escaped arrest during a shoot for ‘Bruno.’
According to Cohen, he and his team were shooting a bondage scene for ‘Bruno’ in the hotel. When the manager found out, the hotel official called the police on them.
“We knew we had about five minutes before the police turned up,” Cohen shared, “And I would be arrested.”
The Inquisitr reported that the ‘Bruno’ team had prepared for this possibility. An escape car was waiting 14 storeys down.
“My English bodyguard yelled ‘Everyone out’,” Sacha Baron Cohen recalled. “So we get to a window,” he said, where there was “an old rickety fire escape. We run down it,” he related, “And get to the second floor.”
That was when Cohen and company came across the flaw in their escape plan. “[The fire escape] doesn’t reach down to the floor. So,” and the ‘Bruno’ star described a scene that resembled a Monty Python comedy sketch, “I jumped wearing these high heels while attached to my friend.”
Sacha Baron Cohen claimed that he “broke his heel” during the jump. Neither The Inquisitr nor the Sunday Express detailed if meant the high heels he wore or his real heel. But the ‘Bruno’ film team managed to get into the car and escape to film another day.
May 18th, 2012 by edsel
Arab American groups are accusing ‘The Dictator’ despot Admiral General Aladeen -the latest alter ego of Sacha Baron Cohen- of being a caricature that insulted Arab culture and provoked prejudices against the Muslim community.
The funnyman is taking heat from Arab American critics like Nadia Tonova, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities. Tonova has criticized Sacha Baron Cohen ever since his infamous Oscars stunt, when the Brit comedian spilled powder all over Ryan Seacrest. And now that ‘The Dictator‘ is showing in theaters this Wednesday, she reiterated her problem with Cohen’s newest character.
“I have not seen the film,” Tonova told E! News. But based on the trailer and interviews that Sacha Baron Cohen held in-character, she opined, “It really seems to be that it’s perpetuating a negative stereotype against Arabs and therefore Arab Americans.”
Adding, “I don’t find it funny,” she said that “I don’t see the humor and it’s unproductive discourse.”
Similarly denouncing ‘The Dictator’ a “modern-day minstrel show,” Arab American comedian Dean Obeidallah asked, “Is there any chance that film would get the green light from a Hollywood studio?” if Sacha Baron Cohen targeted other racial stereotypes.
“What would the reaction be,” Dean Obeidallah asked, “If a white actor in blackface mocked African-American culture? Or if an actor of Arab heritage pitched a movie about the leader of a fictitious Jewish state,” the Arab American funnyman posed in a CNN.com commentary, “In which he would portray the Jewish leader and showcase the worst stereotypes of Jews?”
Previous films by Sacha Baron Cohen have mixed in people’s real reactions to his antics. In comparison, ‘The Dictator’ is mostly a scripted affair.
For his part, Cohen didn’t address Arab American concerns about ‘The Dictator’ during his interview on Today this Wednesday morning. In only the third time he’s ever been interviewed as himself, he did note that his previous movies provoked people into suing him.
“Well,” Sacha Baron Cohen told Today host Ann Curry, “The movies that I did up till now, they involved real people.” He said his team “wanted to limit the exposure for… lawsuits” and he half-joked that he had “the Guinness World Record for the most sued actor in history.”
Cohen’s concern was that “If people saw that I was me and that Borat was not a real person beforehand,” the movie could be injuncted and shut down. “This is a different kind of movie,” he said of ‘The Dictator.’
According to Cohen, ‘The Dictator’ is “a comedy movie” and is meant to be as funny as possible. “…but the subjects of the satire,” he added, “Are these preposterous dictators who are feared in their own countries and rule using violence and oppression but are ludicrous characters.
“And the great thing is at the moment,” Sacha Baron Cohen said that, “They’re being overthrown.” He thinks that ”Anything you can do to mock them and undermine that kind of false authority… is a positive thing.”
May 11th, 2012 by edsel
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney received unexpected -and probably unwanted- support from Sacha Baron Cohen, who was in character as ‘The Dictator’ when he humorously claimed Romney “has the makings of a great dictator.”
The Huffington Post reported that Sacha Baron Cohen held a press conference at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel to promote his upcoming film ‘The Dictator.’ The English comedian appeared in character as the fictional dictator Admiral General Aladeen; his endorsement of Mitt Romney was not personal nor serious.
Admiral General Aladeen started the conference with an Obama joke on how people should applaud the Democrats for putting “a Kenyan” in the White House. Then he declared that, ”I support and I give my full support to Mitchell Romney.” His reasoning? “He has the makings of a great dictator.”
‘The Dictator‘ proceeded to enumerate the traits he supposedly admired in Mitt Romney. “He is incredibly wealthy, but pays no taxes, and it’s not much of a leap to go from firing people to firing squads, and from putting pets on top of the car-” referring to a real-life incident involving Mitt Romney “-to putting political dissidents on the top of them. He taught me how to do that,” Aladeen proudly declared.
Former candidate Rick Santorum was Cohen/Aladeen’s original choice “despite his liberal views.” ‘The Dictator’ said that, “In terms of policies, I would have to say the Republicans, if they could only become a little less extreme. What people call genocide in my country,” Cohen/Aladeen compared, “Is just the judicial system in Texas.”
The character saved his most controversial commentary for the West’s response to the Syrian crisis. “Thirteen months and still no U.N. Security Council Resolution,” Cohen/Aladeen noted. “You guys are amazing,” he admired, adding, “You have done nothing for the Syrian people, but remember, you can always do less.”
In ‘The Dictator,’ Admiral General Aladeen is a fictional dictator who thinks the West maligns him and his fellow despots. The Sacha Baron Cohen comedy movie will be released in the US on May 16.
March 1st, 2012 by faye
Aside from the business magnate Donald Trump, another set of people think that the Oscar stunt of Sacha Baron Cohen is a hit below the belt. The English comedian is currently under fire from the National Network for Arab American Communities, who are extremely offended by his latest character: Admiral General Aladeen from the fake Republic of Wadiya.
National Network for Arab American Communities director Nadia Tonova wrote in an op-ed for Huffington Post, “There was plenty of buzz that he made a mess of Seacrest’s Burberry tuxedo, but not much of an outcry about the blatant Arab stereotype.” Tonova was referring to that Oscar incident where Sacha Baron Cohen, playing the character of General Aladeen, spilled powder – which was supposedly Kim Jong Il’s ashes – all over Ryan Seacrest’s suit on the red carpet of the awards night.
“Arabs are among the few cultures that Hollywood still exploits with impunity,” Nadia Tonova continued. “Routinely, we are profiled as unsavory or sultry characters—generally terrorists, dictators, sheikhs, oil tycoons or Bedouins. But it’s not just Hollywood that perpetuates this imagery. These stereotypes are promoted through the media, law enforcement, our courts, legislatures, Congress and our political candidates. They become an ugly message that trickles down to the general public: Arabs and Muslims are untrustworthy; they are un-American; they are…fill the blank.”
The camp of Sacha Baron Cohen as well as Paramount Pictures have been tight-lipped since word first got out that the 40-year-old English actor wanted to walk the red carpet of the Academy Awards in the guise of his character in the upcoming film, “The Dictator. ”
Tonova points out that it is the stereotyping, such as the one perpetuated by Baron Cohen that lead to racial profiling, violence against Arabs and Arab-Americans in the United States, unfair immigration practices and other political issues. The National Network for Arab American Communities director added, the damage done is not only exclusive to the Arab community, quoting late Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren: “It should be remembered that practically all aliens have come to this country because they like our land and our institutions better than those from whence they came…We must see to it that no race prejudices develop and that there are no petty persecutions of law-abiding people.”
Those are words to remember, Tonova concluded, when thinking about the current state of the U.S. “and, yes, even the damaging lunacy of Sacha Baron Cohen.”
Some of the comments on the article noted that Sacha Baron Cohen was really just trying to be hilarious.
“He [Sacha Baron Cohen] was mocking dictators…Any religious fundamentalists have to be looked on with suspicion, that is all religions,” wrote Hal Wood. Jeff McConnell added, “C’mon, Nadia! Lighten up. I don’t always necessarily appreciate Cohen’s brand of humor, but he isn’t hurting anyone.”
On the other hand, there were also those who agreed with the National Network for Arab American Communities director Nadia Tonova.
“Yup, I agree, Ali G, Borat both Asian/Middle Eastern, both stereotypes. As far as I’m concerned it’s just ‘black face’ for the 21st century,” wrote UKVisitor.
“Supposedly the joke is on us and our ‘racist’ preconceptions,” wrote darquelord. “But without any liberating awareness of our own ‘racism or another way of being or seeing’. In other words, he simply reinforces tired old racist cliches and exploits them for his own economic benefit and for some reason THIS is funny.”
February 29th, 2012 by faye
Influential business magnate Donald Trump does not seem too pleased with the act that English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pulled at the Oscars when he dressed in character as “The Dictator.” Trump, best known for the reality show “The Apprentice” bashed Cohen and called him a ‘third-rate character.’
Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his disapproval with Baron Cohen’s red carpet practical joke at the Oscars, where the comedian threw fake ashes on red carpet commentator Ryan Seacrest while dressed as his new character, General Aladeen, to promote his upcoming film “The Dictator.” Trump said:
@SachaBaronCohen is a moron who should have been pummeled by the weak and pathetic security person who stood watching as he poured ashes over @RyanSeacrest, a wonderful guy, at the Academy Award’s red carpet. The security person totally froze–he should be fired.
But the business magnate’s outrage clearly did not end there, as Donald Trump also released a Youtube video where he said, “This third-rate character named Sacha Baron Cohen thought he was being cute and funny when he threw ashes at Ryan Seacrest,” Trump ranted in his latest “From the Desk of Donald Trump” video. “Now I know Ryan Seacrest — he’s a great guy — and you could see he was visibly upset. It was disgraceful.”
The security guards did not escape the scrutinizing eyes of Trump.
“And the security guard that was standing to the right, he ought to be fired immediately! He had nothing, that guy was not capable. He allowed this guy to get away with so much. Believe me, if that ever happened to somebody with real security, Sacha Baron Cohen would not be in great shape right now, he’d be in a hospital. He would’ve been punched in the face so many times, he wouldn’t have known what happened to him,” Donald Trump went on.
“I only wish that Ryan took a swing at him, I only wish that the security guard that allowed it all to happen, number one, gets fired and number two: Go to school, learn about being security. You don’t know, man,” said the “Apprentice” celebrity towards Sacha Baron Cohen.
Watch the video here of Donald Trump slamming Sacha Baron Cohen, among other things.
February 28th, 2012 by faye
English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for playing his role in Borat, Bruno, and his latest movie “Hugo,” reportedly slammed the 2012 Academy Awards for shutting him out – in character.
During a humorous minute-long rant, Sacha Baron Cohen went on ‘The Today Show’ donning a costume of a general to express his outrage over being banned from the Academy Awards Sunday night.
A summary of the speech of the tyrant says: Death to America, death to the west, and good luck Billy Crystal. Here’s “The Dictator” himself, General Aladeen, lashing out: “While begrudgingly giving props to the Academy for denying his right to free speech – just like The Dictator himself would do – he’s still outraged, dammit!”
In addition to threatening the “Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Zionists,” Sacha Baron Cohen also took a jab at actress Hilary Swank, who won’t refund his money. The actress presumably became a punchline after she attended a dinner for an alleged war criminal.
When the authorities from Oscars learned about Cohen’s plan to attend the Academy Awards in character, they blackballed the actor.
Watch the video of Sacha Baron Cohen’s rant here.
February 24th, 2012 by faye
English stand-up comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is allegedly banned from attending the Academy Awards on Sunday due to the comic actor’s vow to pull a red carpet stunt dressed as the title character of his upcoming film “The Dictator.”
According to the reports, the 40-year-old Sacha Baron Cohen said he would come to Sunday’s Academy Awards donning a costume as “The Dictator,” the lead character from his new comedy about a nutty strongman that is part Moamar Ghadafi and a little Saddam Hussein, with hints of Kim Jong Il.
While ‘Deadline’ reports that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences pulled Cohen’s tickets for the Academy Awards when they could not gain assurance that he would not arrive in his “dictator” costume, an Oscars rep asserts that they have not arrived at a decision yet. “We haven’t banned him,” the spokesperson said. “We’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do.”
Sacha Baron Cohen is widely known for writing and playing three unorthodox fictional characters namely “Ali G,” “Borat,” and “Brüno.” His most recent stint is in “Hugo,” which is up for 11 Oscars, including Best Picture.