Whoa! This is huge!
Yesterday, Sacha Baron Cohen, as Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, rallied support—on the “Today” show and online—for the Admiral’s permission to attend the Academy Awards.
Fictional Admiral Aladeen has been petitioning the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and “Zionists” to attend the Oscars in Baron Cohen’s stead. And the Academy has decided to indulge him!
An Academy rep initially said it didn’t feel “appropriate” for Cohen, 40, to arrive in costume; they changed their minds Friday afternoon, according to Deadline. “Does Sacha need a changing room?” an Academy rep reportedly asked Cohen’s PR team.
Cohen, who has two young daughters with actress wife Isla Fisher, was elated that the Academy changed its tune.
“Victory is ours! Today the mighty nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes of Hollywood. Evil and all those who made Satan their protector were vanquished and driven into the Pacific Sea,” the actor tweeted. “What I am trying to say here is that the Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! Today Oscar, tomorrow Obama!”
The Admiral also posed with his Oscars tickets in a Twitpic. And he’s holding a golden handgun! (Is that supposed to be the “parking pass”? Oh, dear.)
I think it’s important to note that, although Baron Cohen is dressed up as the Dictator, that grin looks pretty sincere.
I skimmed the Deadline article in a little more detail, and I can tell you why the Academy changed its mind: Baron Cohen promised to change out of his Dictator costume and into a tuxedo before going onstage with the cast of Hugo. Which, of course he planned to get into a tux all along! It’s not like he’d attend the Oscars ceremony hoping to annoy Martin Scorsese! Please.
I feel a little conflicted, though: all of this establishes a terrible precedent. Until now, the Academy has flat-out refused to allow Baron Cohen to attend the ceremony “in character” (Borat was disallowed in 2007), citing a policy having to do with “marketing” other movies on the red carpet.
The 2012 Academy Awards will also mark the first time other movies’ commercials may air during the telecast.
All the same, if there’s one thing people complain about every year, it’s that the Academy seems woefully out-of-touch. So it’s nice that the Academy is willing to pretend to have a sense of humor.