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Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that they would not allow Sacha Baron Cohen, star of the upcoming comedy The Dictator, to attend the Oscars. Although he was later allowed to attend, the Academy initially banned him because he intended to show up dressed as the title character from his new movie, complete with long black beard, white uniform, and chestful of fake medals. The movie itself is 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.”
So why did the Academy originally attempt to bar outrageous comic from attending? Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke asks the key question, “Whether the fact that the 84th Academy Awards will be beamed into 200 countries had anything to do with Baron Cohen being banned from the Oscars was unclear.”
Baron Cohen responded to the Academy’s lack of humor with a decidedly un-PC comment on his website: “Admiral General Aladeen willd elvier a formal response tomorrow morning to being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Zionists.”
So, the Academy was reluctant to allow Baron Cohen to show up wearing a goofy dictatorial outfit because the night is simply too serious – or because he might offend actual dictators around the world. Welcome to the Oscars, where it’s forbidden to take yourself too lightly or to tick anybody off … except Republicans.
And that’s the problem with Hollywood. They take themselves way too seriously. Who cares if an actor shows up in costume? That’s what these people do for a living – they dress up as other people and say lines they’ve memorized. Why in the world should they care if somebody mocks them on a red carpet while they’re busy feting themselves?
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