Sacha Baron Cohen Reacts to Oscars 'Dictator' Controversy, Branding the Academy 'Zionists'
Sacha Baron Cohen has added more fuel to the swirling controversy about his plan to appear as Admiral General Aladeen, his character in "The Dictator", at the 2012 Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26. Through the film's website, Cohen's alter-ego commented on the issue by dubbing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "zionists."
Cohen's Aladeen, who is the leader of fictional Middle Eastern country called The Republic Of Wadiya, stated that he will make an official statement for the AMPAS on Friday, February 24. He wrote, "Admiral General Aladeen will deliver a formal response tomorrow morning [Friday] to being banned from The Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Zionists."
On the other hand, it was said that there has been an internal debate at the AMPAS throughout Thursday morning. Deadline reported that the Academy has been discussing whether it should allow the actor to step on the red carpet in Aladeen's costume and then let him change into a tuxedo to attend the ceremony.
The husband of Isla Fisher not only is an Academy member, but he's also the star of Best Picture contender, "Hugo". An insider said, "There's a debate inside the Academy of how to respond. Certainly the perception is that they lack a sense of humor which got a strong reaction. They are debating what to do. But so far they have not changed their official position."
A day prior, it was reported that Cohen's Oscars ticket has been yanked by the Academy. Though so, a representative for the Academy insisted that the famed comedian still hasn't been banned from the prestigious show. "We haven't banned him. We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do," so said the rep to The Hollywood Reporter.
Cohen has prompted serious concerns at the AMPAS since he told Paramount of his outrageous plan to attend the awards show as his "Dicatator" alter-ego. The Academy believed that his action could potentially spark mockery for the upcoming prestigious event. "We would hope that every studio knows that this is a bad idea. The Red Carpet is not about stunting," said an Oscars spokesperson.
The 40-year-old funnyman has a history of using formal events to promote his movies. In 2006, he appeared as his eccentric Kazakh journalist character in "Borat" when attending the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2009, meanwhile, he performed a stunt with Eminem to promote "Bruno" at MTV Video Music Awards.
Back in 2007, Cohen was asked to be a presenter at the Oscars, but he insisted to only do it if he was allowed to appear as Borat. When the Academy refused his request, he decided to pass the show.
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