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Borat 2: Blunt reason Sacha Baron Cohen wanted film aired before 2020 US election

The sequel to the British comedian’s 2006 comedy has hit the headlines with a number of clips this week, including one where the star was dressed as Donald Trump. The controversial flick sees his character Borat Sagdiyev travel across from Kazakhstan to the US to ‘analyse’ the culture, coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 election. Baron Cohen admitted that his film, which will be released on Amazon Prime this week, was deliberately put out before many US citizens cast their ballot on November 3.

Baron Cohen claimed there was some concern over the political nature of his film and several doubted whether it was a good idea to release it before an election. 

But the London-born star was adamant that it must air before to “remind” the US electorate about incumbent President Trump – in a move that stressed his preference for a future Joe Biden presidency.

He told the New York Times this month: “We wanted it to be a reminder to women of who they’re voting for – or who they’re not voting for. 

“If you’re a woman and you don’t vote against this guy, then know what you’re doing for your gender.”

The comedian claimed to have “always been wary” of using his fame to “push any political views” in the past and preferred to expose problems in society through his comedy. 

One moment he recalled was “when Borat was able to get an entire bar in Arizona to sing ‘Throw the Jew down the well’”, which he said: “Did reveal people’s indifference to antisemitism.”

Baron Cohen, who is Jewish, blasted Facebook for running political ads – a claim that was disputed by the social media site.

He said: “If Facebook were around in the , it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’”

In response, Facebook told The Guardian that “hate speech is actually banned” on their platform and they “remove anyone who praises or supports” violence.

They continued: “Nobody – including politicians – can advocate or advertise hate, violence or mass murder on Facebook.”

The star’s words helped in the launch of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign and led him to his first “major speech” using his “own voice” rather than one of his characters.

Baron Cohen said: “I felt like I had to ring the alarm bell and say that democracy is in peril this year.”

He explained that even if his remarks were “going to destroy” his career or attract criticism over a celebrity touting political views, he felt compelled and had to speak out.

Baron Cohen continued: “People are going to come at me and say, ‘Just shut up, the last thing we need is another celebrity telling us what to do’.

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“I fully understand people who do that — [but] I felt I needed to do that to live with myself.”

For his first outing as Borat, Baron Cohen claimed that he needed to play the “mysognistic, racist, antisemitic” character to “get people to reveal their inner prejudices”.

But in recent times he feels the public’s “inner prejudices are overt” and was concerned that “racists are proud of being racists”.

He felt that President Trump’s use of words had allowed “the rest of society to change their dialogue, too” and feared for the future. 

Baron Cohen added: “My aim here was not to expose racism and antisemitism, the aim is to make people laugh, but we reveal the dangerous slide to authoritarianism.”

During the film, Borat moves in with two conspiracy theorists for several days – a move he claimed was to show they were “ordinary folk” and “good people” who had “been fed this diet of lies”.

Baron Cohen continued: “They’re completely different to the politicians who are motivated by their own power, who realised that they can create fear by spreading these lies through the most effective propaganda machine in history.”

Sacha Baron Cohen’s film Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe To American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan is available to stream on Amazon Prime from October 23.


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