Sacha Baron Cohen Banned from the Oscars?

     February 22, 2012


Sacha Baron Cohen is not someone you would describe as uncontroversial. Now, his over-the-top antics may have gotten him banned from the 84th Annual Academy Awards. He’s been a British hip-hop artist (Ali G Indahouse), a Kazakhstani immigrant (Borat) and a flamboyant Austrian fashionista (Bruno), each one more polarizing than the last. Apparently his new character from The Dictator, General Aladeen, is not welcome at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual awards show. Hit the jump to find out what got The Dictator banned and to see why this might all just boil down to a publicity stunt one way or another.

Deadline reported dictator-sacha-baron-cohenon the MPAA’s withholding of Cohen’s tickets to this year’s Academy Awards. Cohen, who is known for doing live stunts in character to drum up interest in his movies, had petitioned the Academy to allow him to strut the red carpet as The Dictator. Rather than simply turning down the idea, they had reportedly banned him from the show, even though Cohen’s movie, Hugo, is up for eleven nominations, including Best Picture. An insider from the Academy summed it up nicely as follows:

“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.”

Without Cohen in attendance, “nothing entertaining” is exactly what the Academy will get. However, THR is reporting that the Academy hasn’t yet banned Cohen, they’re just waiting him out. So says an Academy spokesperson:

“We don’t think it’s appropriate. But his tickets haven’t been pulled. We’re waiting to hear back.”

On one hand, if the Academy allows Cohen to publicize his movie, they’ll open the door for others to do it in the future. Only this year, they made an exception to let movie-related advertising run during their commercial breaks. Then again, I’m reminded of Ben Stiller dressed full-out in an Avatar costume, complete with blue makeup. So where is the line to be drawn?

Except for the return of Billy Crystal to the host’s podium, the broadcast is unlikely to contain any surprises, either in the scheduled program of events or in the winners’ bracket. Perhaps this is all just a stunt dreamed up by Cohen and the Academy to up the shock value when General Aladeen makes an uninvited appearance, but that may be too much excitement to hope for. Starring Cohen, Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly, and Anna Faris, The Dictator opens May 11th.


  • tardosauresrex

    Trumbore when you put things in your artcicles make sure they back up you opinions. there has been many ppl in the past that have dressed up like things from movies but as hosts and presenters which they are okay with cause it’s not publicity. its a show and a presentation and they want that to be left to those that are part of it not in the audience.

  • excpired

    Why don’t they want him to come in character? It will draw viewers, what else do they want?

    Academy awards are stupid.

  • AManWithAKilt

    “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.”

    I don’t think we need to worry about anything entertaining happening.

  • MainFragger

    Well, I can’t blame them for wanting to make sure his butt and balls don’t end up in someone’s face. I guaruntee you, thats a visual memory Eminem wishes he could erase.

    • Guns Of Navarone

      Please tell me you don’t think that was real? – It was all staged. Eminem admitted his part in it.

      • Roger Thompson

        A lot of people thought it was real…that’s why it worked so well. People are dumb…dumber than we could possibly realize.

        Kanye West/Taylor Swift deal was another obviously fake one that everyone seems to say is real…sad.

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  • Roger Thompson

    Publicity stunt…just another way to help sell his movie.

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  • John Campea

    I love Cohen, but let’s be honest… he wants to make the Oscars about him. The Oscars want to keep it about the show and the movies being honored. Cohen wants to just show up and draw all the attention to himself… and if you let HIM do it… then next year it’s just going to be a complete idiotic zoo with everyone trying to do the same thing… then it’s just the MTV Movie Awards Re-Deux

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