“General Aladeen,” the fictional Middle Eastern ruler who Sacha Baron Cohen plays in his upcoming film “The Dictator,” will be making an appearance on the red carpet at the Academy Awards after all.
“We’re thrilled to have him and he’ll be on the red carpet dressed as The Dictator,” Oscar producer Brian Grazer told entertainment television show “Extra.”
Earlier, Cohen spoke out against the Academy’s reported attempt to ban him from appearing in character at this Sunday’s Oscar ceremony.
In a video posting on his “official government website,” Cohen as Aladeen, the ruler of the fictional nation of Wadiya, blasts the “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists,” fumes that he’s “outraged” at the ticket snub, and warns there will be “unimaginable consequences” if the Academy doesn’t “lift its sanctions” and give him his tickets back. “Furthermore, it is an act of aggression that no Wadiyan films have been recognized by the academy,” he adds. “Where are the nominations for such classic movies as ‘When Harry Kidnapped Sally,’ ‘You Got Mailbomb,’ and ‘Planet of the Rapes?’”
In character, Cohen also skewers Hilary Swank’s recent PR misstep in which she claims she unknowingly took $2 million from a suspected war criminal to attend his birthday party, and director Brett Ratner’s anti-gay comments, which led to him stepping down as the producer of the Oscar telecast.
In closing, he screams: “Death to the West! Death to America! And good luck, Billy Crystals!,” before asking someone off-camera, “How was that? Did I sound crazy enough?”
In reality, Cohen — the actor, not the faux dictator — has a reason for being at the Oscars this year. He’s a member of the cast of this year’s most nominated film, “Hugo.”
Cohen also called into NBC this morning to plead his case, saying he had to delay “30 executions” and said the Academy has until midday Sunday to return his tickets.