Sacha Baron Cohen Gets Banned From the Oscars in a Genius Move

I was kind of over Sacha Baron Cohen about 15 minutes into Borat, but you have to hand it to the guy: he knows how to work PR in his favor. Thanks to the seemingly endless chatter about whether or not he's going to be banned from the Oscars ceremony, he's managed to generate a ton of attention to his upcoming movie The Dictator.

Forget press releases, advance screening, expensive trailers, or merchandising—Cohen's stumbled onto the cheapest method of promotion ever: threaten to show up to the Academy Awards in costume.


If he were a beautiful blond with big tits and an ass that tastes like French vanilla ice cream (name that movie quote!), Cohen could just pose nude for a magazine cover, but since that particular tried-and-true film promotion effort isn't available to him (at least not without covering old territory, since he's already gone the hairy banana hammock route before), he's been getting creative with marketing The Dictator.

Namely, he got the Academy to actually issue a statement about whether or not they were going to allow him to attend as the film's title character. originally reported that Cohen's tickets to the event were revoked
by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they learned he planned to show up as his Saddam Hussein/Muammar Gaddafi-esque film character. Paramount seemed to confirm the diss, saying that "unless they're assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the red carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show."

Apparently the Academy has since backpedaled a bit on the ban, saying that they're "just waiting to hear what he's going to do." Cohen will presumably be allowed to attend—as long as he doesn't come in character.

It's pretty ridiculous, really, considering
what the Academy has allowed in the past. As Deadline pointed out, Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park dressed up as J-Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow in evening gowns in 2000, and Ben Stiller (humiliatingly) wore full blue Avatar makeup while presenting an Oscar in 2010. Also, I don't know exactly how you'd describe what Anne Hathaway and James Franco were wearing during this painful bit, but all I can say is that if the idea of banning Cohan's outfit is to somehow preserve the Academy's dignity ... well, I call bullshit.

What they're really protesting is his effort to promote his own film, which is what's ironic about the whole controversy: the
press he's been getting for the ban has done more for the movie than his original costume idea ever could. In the battle of the Academy vs. The Dictator, this round definitely goes to Cohen.

Here's the trailer for
The Dictator—what do you think, will you be seeing it when it comes out on May 11?

Image via YouTube

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