Consequences for Cohen's Oscar ban
Published 24/02/2012 | 15:44
Sacha Baron Cohen's latest alter-ego Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen has issued an ultimatum to Oscar bosses after reportedly being banned from the ceremony.
In character as the fictional Middle East despot from his upcoming film The Dictator, the British comedian said there would be "unimaginable consequences" if they did not lift their ban.
"On behalf of the nation of Wadiya, I am outraged at being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Zionists. 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 back my tickets by 12pm on Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences," he said in a Facebook video.
The funnyman also joked that he had already paid Hilary Swank to be his date for the night "and she will not refund a penny!" and that his "Sunday calendar is now as empty as a North Korean grocery store".
Sacha - who was invited to attend the Oscars as a cast member of best picture nominee Hugo - was reported to have had his tickets rescinded because he wanted to walk down the red carpet dressed up as the spoof character, before changing into a tuxedo for the ceremony.
But an Academy Awards spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter: "We haven't banned him. We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do. His tickets haven't been pulled. We're waiting to hear back."