Sacha Baron Cohen, most famous for the character Borat, and currently for his movie The Dictator, has been banned from Sunday’s presentation of The 84th Academy Awards. The action was taken even though Cohen is both an Academy member, and stars in a film nominated for Best Picture: Hugo.
According to Nikke Finke, who broke the story at her blog Deadline.com, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences took the drastic action after learning of Cohen’s plan to arrive at The Oscar Red Carpet in the costume of The Dictator. A Paramount representative told Finke, “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.”
According to The LA Times, Academy President Tom Sherak called Paramount and said that Cohen’s plan is “it’s a bad thing to do” because it would make a mockery of the Oscars.
Finke reports that Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch called Paramount to basically repeat AMPAS policy: Cohen can come only if he dresses in a tux, like everyone else.
It’s too bad AMPAS is taking this approach, because (and Nikke is correct here), the Oscars are pretty predictable; Cohen’s plan would add spice and buzz, and perhaps even help ratings.