You won't see Sacha Baron Cohen on the red carpet at the Oscars tomorrow night, but you will see Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen from Cohen's upcoming film The Dictator. (Shh, they are actually the same person.) Cohen was reportedly barred from showing up to the ceremony in costume.
Academy officials had said he'd be banned if he attended as Aladeen because they didn't want him to "hijack" the red-carpet event with a publicity stunt.
Aladeen himself (again, fictional character) took to NBC's Today show to voice his outrage and demand that he be re-invited — with vague threats that don't pair well with the "hijack" word choice.
Normally I would be impressed by an act of cowardice by a faceless regime. But this is personal … They have until midday Sunday to give me my tickets back. If they do not they will see and face unforeseen and unimaginable consequences.
Not to worry, though: Oscars producer Brian Grazer is "thrilled" to have Cohen-as-Aladeen on the red carpet. Seems pretty win-win, really. Cohen gets free publicity for The Dictator, and the Oscars get to stir up a little controversy before the big event. Look for
Cohen Aladeen to do something totally zany and freak out Ryan Seacrest. Just kidding, that man is unflappable.