Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscars Controversy

By ABC News

Feb 23, 2012 11:03am

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Sacha Baron Cohen has not been banned from the Oscars, but he’s not welcome to show up as his character from “The Dictator.”

A spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences denied that Cohen’s tickets had been pulled for Sunday’s ceremony following a report that he intended to show up as the title character in his new comedy.

“We haven’t banned him,” an Academy spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do.”

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The trade magazine said the Academy does not want Cohen to walk the red carpet as his Dictator character.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported that Cohen — who had been invited to the Oscars as a cast member for the nominated film “Hugo” — was planning to arrive at the event dressed as his “Dictator” character, a Saddam Hussein-like ruler.

By Wednesday, there were reports that the Academy was threatening to boot Cohen. A source told Deadline.com, “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.”

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