Sacha Baron Cohen is playing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences like a yo-yo for banning him from appearing at the Oscars in his latest guise as Admiral General Aladeen, the focus of his picture “The Dictator.” He also zings Hollywood in the process.
Cohen released a video today (Feb. 24) in character, lambasting the Academy for taking away the dictator’s tickets and not nominating any films from his country, Wadiya.
“I am outraged at being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists,” he said. “While I applaud the Academy for taking away my free speech, I warn you that if you do not lift your sanctions and give me my tickets back by 12pm on Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences.”
The brouhaha was sparked after the Academy told Cohen not to appear in costume to promote his movie on the red carpet. The policy is long-standing, or god knows what studios would do to get their features air time in from of the Oscars’ huge audience.
But Cohen knows an opportunity when he sees one and released the video in response to the directive. He appears in the video in full dress uniform with Kalashnikov-armed guards in the background. He blasted the Academy for overlooking films from his country such as “When Harry Kidnapped Sally,” “You’ve Got Mailbomb” or “Planet Of The Rapes.”
“On top of all of this, I paid Hilary Swank $2 million to be my date and she will not refund a penny. My Sunday calendar is now as empty as a North Korea grocery store,” he shouted.
The reference was to Swank’s ill-advised decision to attend brutal Chechnya dictator Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday, for which she was paid handsomely.
“But whatever happens, I still plan to attend director Brett Ratner’s afterparty since it’s impossible to catch herpes twice. Death to the West, death to America and good luck Billy Crystals – fantastic!”
The academy has been stung by the backlash, and not surprisingly, Tinseltown is taking sides.
Check out the video below: