VIDEO: Sacha Baron Cohen's Oscars Ultimatum
Following the Academy's decision to ban his Dictator character from the Oscars, Sacha Baron Cohen responded Friday with an ultimatum for the Oscar higher-ups. Cohen phoned in to Ann Curry on NBC's Today, disguising his voice as Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen of the republic of Wadiya, claiming that he was miffed by the lack of hospitality he's being shown for Sunday's ceremony.
"Those folks at the Academy have banned me," he told Curry and co-anchor Carl Quintanilla, who was filling in for Matt Lauer. "Normally I would be impressed by an act of cowardice by a faceless regime, but this is personal. I have issued them an ultimatum. They have until midday on Sunday to give me my tickets back or they will face unforeseen and unimaginable circumstances!"
When asked to be more specific about his threats, he responded: "Oil prices might be raised."
Academy reps spoke up on Wednesday that while Cohen is more than welcome to attend as himself, given that he starred in Best Picture nominee Hugo, they do not want to see his spoof of a Middle Eastern ruler. "We have expressed that we don't feel it's appropriate to use our Oscar red carpet as a venue for a movie promotional stunt," a rep for the Academy told the New York Post.
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