In a night of few surprises, did the most entertaining/significant part of last night’s Oscars ceremony occur on the red carpet, with British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pretending to tip the ashes of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il over Ryan Seacrest?
The Artist won Best Film at The Oscars along with Best Leading Actor for Jean Dujardin and Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius. Meryl Streep won Best Leading Actress for The Iron Lady. The Oscars are not usually known as a forum for political statements.
Did that change last night for the 2012 Oscars?
Oscar producers previously banned the funnyman but then did a U-turn and allowed Cohen to appear at this year’s award ceremony dressed as his General Aladeen character. Oscar bosses have strict rules about plugging films at the event, so they told Cohen they would take away his ticket unless he dropped the stunt. He was due to appear because he starred in Hugo.
Sacha Baron Cohen somehow managed to make it onto the Oscars red carpet dressed as his latest outrageous character The Dictator, a bizarre and many would say politically insensitive amalgam of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
Baron Cohen tweeted from his General Aladeen Twitter account: “VICTORY IS OURS! Today the Mighty Nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes ofHollywood.”
“While I applaud the academy for taking away my right to free speech, I warn you that if you do not lift your sanctions and give me my tickets back by12pmon Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences.”
He berates them for not nominating films like: “classic Wadiyan films such as When Harry Kidnapped Sally, You’ve Got Mailbombs or Planet Of The Rapes.”
“On top of all of this, I paid Hilary Swank $2million to be my date and she will not refund a penny. My Sunday calendar is now as empty as aNorth Koreagrocery store. But whatever happens, I still plan to attend director Brett Ratner’s afterparty since it’s impossible to catch herpes twice. Death to the West, death to America and good luck Billy Crystals – fantastic!”
After a week of speculation, Sacha Baron arrived at the 2012 Oscars dressed as his new fictional alter-ego Admiral Aladeen, a.k.a. The Dictator, and promptly caused a scene on the red carpet.
He arrived on the Oscars with a jar that he claimed contained the ashes of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. In an interview with TV host Ryan Seacrest, he said it was Kim’s dying wish “to be sprinkled over the red carpet and overHalleBerry’s chest.”
Prior to this, Cohen said he was wearing an outfit designed by John Galliano, but “socks from Kmart” because: “As my friend Saddam Hussein once said to me ‘socks are socks – don’t waste money’”.
He then sprinkled the “ashes” on the red carpet (and Seacrest), before being escorted away by security.
Of course, this was all part of the plan. So did a guy chucking a dicator’s fake ashes around at the Oscars make the biggest news? From the headlines this morning it appears he did.
What do you think of Sacha Baron Cohen’s publicity stunt? Watch it again below and tell us what you think.