Bow Before Power Or Be Banished
Sacha Baron Cohen Responds To Movie Academy “Of Arts & Zionists”
"Stung by bad publicity, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is trying to find a way out of its Oscars standoff with popular comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
Yesterday I reported exclusively that the Academy had pulled his tickets to the 84th Academy Awards show for this Sunday simply because he intended to walk the Red Carpet as the title character of his upcoming Paramount comedy The Dictator. Insiders tell me that all morning and afternoon the Academy has been internally debating whether to allow Baron Cohen on the Red Carpet in full uniform as a fictional Middle Eastern General Alladeen and then allow him to change into a tuxedo to attend the show which was his plan all along. Baron Cohen not only is an Academy member, but he’s also one of the stars of Paramount’s 11-nominated film Hugo which is a Best Picture contender. “There’s a debate inside the Academy of how to respond,” an insider tells me. “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.”
I’ve confirmed with both Paramount and Baron Cohen’s publicist that the comic is still banned. However, Academy President Tom Sherak this morning told the TV morning show Good Day LA that Baron Cohen will be at the Oscars. To which the Baron Cohen camp responded to me that is untrue.
“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,” Paramount told me yesterday. The reason is that a proposal reached the Academy earlier this week for Baron Cohen to strut the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character. In response, on Wednesday morning, the Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch phoned Paramont’s awards staff to say Baron Cohen’s tickets had been pulled unless he gives the Academy assurances ahead of time promising not to show up on the Red Carpet in costume and not to promote the movie on the Red Carpet. The Academy made it clear that, without those assurances, it would not issue him the tickets. So he’s banned."