Sacha Baron Cohen Will Not Be Allowed To Attend This Year's Oscars
UPDATE: Now THR has learned that Sacha Baron Cohen's tickets have not been revoked and they are still "just waiting to hear what he's going to do." The Academy will not let the actor promote his new movie on the red carpet, but he still has his tickets to the ceremony.
Nobody likes to stir up controversy quite like Sacha Baron Cohen, and now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has played right into his hands. First reported earlier today, Cohen was planning on attending Sunday's ceremony as Admiral General Aladeen, his character from the upcoming comedy The Dictator. At the time what was unknown was if the AMPAS would allow him to participate in the event, as they have the right to veto such a move. So guess what they did?
According to Deadline, the Academy has decided to revoke Cohen's tickets to the ceremony and he will no longer be allowed to attend. The site received a quote from an insider close to the situation who has informed them that "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." It should be noted that Cohen was only planning to walk the red carpet in character, and then he was going to change into a tuxedo for the actual event. He wasn't scheduled to present an award and was merely there as part of what Deadline calls "the Paramount contingent" (in addition to The Dictator being set up at the studio, Cohen also played a role in Hugo, which is up for eleven awards).
It didn't really matter what the Academy's decision was in this situation. If they had allowed Sacha Baron Cohen to execute his stunt on the red carpet, The Dictator would have gotten publicity through his various in-character interviews. And the fact that I'm writing this article to explain that he's not being allowed to attend the ceremony is proof that he's going to get publicity no matter what.
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