Showtime has released a statement defending Sacha Baron Cohen’s show Who Is America? from Sarah Palin’s claims that he mocked disabled veterans. Who Is America? is a political satire mockumentary series created by Baron Cohen which premiered on July 15, 2018. Baron Cohen appears in disguise as multiple characters and interviews politicians. On July 10, 2018, Palin wrote a scathing Facebook post about how she was tricked by Baron Cohen into appearing on the show. She calls Baron Cohen “evil, exploitative, and sick” and claims that he disguised himself as a disabled veteran with a wheelchair. Palin thought that she would be taking part in a documentary about American veterans and left the interview when she found it too disrespectful.

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On July 12, 2018, Baron Cohen responded to Palin’s claims on Twitter as the character who interviewed her saying, “I did NOT say I was a war vet. I was in the service — not military, but United Parcel and I only fought for my country once – when I shot a Mexican who came onto my property.” Baron Cohen’s character then goes on to praise Palin for her criticism of President Obama before accusing her of spreading “fake news.”

On July 16, 2018, Showtime released their own statement defending Baron Cohen. Showtime said that the premiere of the series shows Baron Cohen’s character verbally confirming to Bernie Sanders that he is not, in fact, disabled. The channel states that Baron Cohen never presented himself to Palin as a U.S. military veteran and that there was no wheelchair in sight. The character “did not wear military apparel of any kind,” during the interviews with Sanders and Palin, according to Showtime.

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Several other politicians have been confirmed to have been tricked by Baron Cohen into appearing on Who Is America?, including Roy Moore, Dick Cheney and Joe Walsh.

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