Sacha Baron Cohen crashed the red carpet at the 2012 Academy Awards on Sunday, appearing in character as Admiral General Aladeen from his new movie The Dictator.
At the notoriously stiff award show, Cohen brought a bit of humor, dumping the “ashes” of deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il on entertainment commentator Ryan Seacrest. Event security guards then dragged Cohen away.
In the brief interview with Seacrest, Cohen referenced other dictators, including Saddam Hussein.
For anyone who has followed the events of the Arab Spring over the last year, Cohen’s Aladeen performance is a witty caricature of the many strong-armed leaders who have been at the brunt of popular uprisings. Cohen’s Aladeen character especially mimics deceased Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The actor behind comedies Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Brüno had made clear that he wanted to appear at the Oscars.
On Friday, he released a video responding a ban on his appearance at the Academy Awards, explaining that he applauds the academy for taking away his right to free speech. He called the academy "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts And Zionists."
Cohen's threats have worked. Over the weekend, the academy lifted the ban and said they were more than happy to have Cohen show up in full costume and promote his movie.
According to film site IMBD, The Dictator is the heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. The film will be released in May.
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