The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has decided to void Sacha Baron Cohen's tickets to the 84th Academy Awards show. It seems the folks at the Academy got word that Cohen planned to show up the event in the full wardrobe of his latest movie The Dictator and strut around the red carpet in full character.
Unfortunately it looks like we're not going to have a chance to see this take place but luckily for Cohen the next best thing to showing up as The Dictator character would be to get press from being an Academy member yet not allowed to attend the show even though he hasn't nominated film (Hugo).
In case you haven't seen the previews The Dictator is a spoof about the "heroic story of a Middle Eastern dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to the country he so lovingly oppressed". The Academy Awards will be shown in over 200 countries and it's unclear if they were afraid of offending audiences and some of those countries but one things for sure the Academy hopes the ban will show studios that the award ceremony should not be used for publicity stunts like it has been in the past.
This would not have been Baron Cohen's first time upstaging an awards show. To promote Bruno, he flew through the air at the MTV Movie Awards and landed with his crotch in the face of Eminem, who later admitted the stunt was rehearsed. And a trailer for The Dictator certainly was one of the raciest ever allowed by the MPAA during the Super Bowl, where Baron Cohen's character was hilariously depicted running a competitive race while and leg-shooting rivals with a starter pistol as they got close to him.
I for one feel that the Academy needs to lighten up because after all is at the Oscars about entertainment? Is this really such a big leap from having a Muppet present an award?