Sacha Baron Cohen banned? No, but 'General Aladeen' is. Woe be unto Dictators.
As if that list of indignities wasn’t long enough, we can add another dictator to the list of the banned: General Aladeen.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has banned a certain General Aladeen from attending the 84th annual Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 26.
Technically, General Aladeen isn’t a real person – he’s a character portrayed by the satirist Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of “Borat” and “The Ali G Show,” as well as the voice of King Julian in “Madagascar.” A movie portraying the general, entitled "Dictator," is due to open later this year.
It should also be mentioned that General Aladeen’s country, the Republic of Wadiya, doesn’t exist on any maps and no country profiles have been found on Wikipedia. (Note: this may have changed. We checked last at 10:23 a.m. on Thursday).
But for the academy, General Aladeen – if not an actual real person – is a real problem. The academy doesn’t want Mr. Cohen, the actor who portrays Aladeen, to show up to the awards ceremony as Aladeen. They think that it would be inappropriate to “hijack” the ceremony with a publicity stunt. Like that would ever happen in Hollywood.
“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,” a spokesman for Paramount Pictures told movie blog “Deadline.”