Sacha Baron Cohen addresses Oscar controversy as his 'Dictator' character
"Admiral General Aladeen will deliver a formal response tomorrow morning to being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Zionists."
So reads the statement released today by "Aladeen" via the "Republic of Wadiya"'s official website, in response to news yesterday that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had banned the fictional Middle East despot (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen) from the Oscar ceremony on Sunday in order to keep "The Dictator" star from walking the red carpet (though it turns out Deadline's original report on the matter jumped the gun a bit, as Cohen has not yet officially had his tickets pulled).
The publicity stunt is a masterstroke on the part of Cohen and distributor Paramount. By floating the proposal to have Cohen walk the red carpet as Aladeen, the studio knew they were creating a "win-win" situation for themselves. If the Academy accepted their request, the film would receive a ton of free publicity on Hollywood's biggest night. If the Academy denied their request, they would arguably benefit even more.
In any case, we look forward to seeing what shape this "formal" response will take tomorrow morning.
"The Dictator" hits theaters on March 11th.
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