The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally broken silence to clarify the spinning rumors that it has banned Sacha Baron Cohen from attending the 2012 Academy Awards. A spokesperson for the AMPAS has set the record straight and denied the reports that Cohen is not wanted to attend the upcoming Oscars on Sunday, February 26.
The representative told The Hollywood Reporter, "We haven't banned him." Still, the Academy noted that it will not welcome Cohen if he insists to appear as his raunchy character General Admiral Alladeen from upcoming film, "The Dictator", on the event's red carpet. "We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do," added the rep.
The report of Cohen getting banned from the Hollywood biggest awarding event first came from Deadline, which claimed that Cohen's Oscars ticket has been yanked by the Academy. A rep from Paramount Pictures told the site, "Unless they're assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the red carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show."
On Tuesday, February 21, it was reported that Cohen, who was invited to the Oscars as part of "Hugo" cast, has told Paramount of his extraordinary plan to appear as his alter-ego in "The Dictator". The outrageous plan reportedly prompted serious concerns at the AMPAS. It is believed that his action could potentially distract press attention from the Oscar nominees and would potentially spark mockery for the upcoming prestigious event.
Cohen has a history of using prestigious events to promote his movies. In 2006, he appeared as his eccentric Kazakh journalist character in "Borat" when attending the Toronto International Film Festival. At that time, he rode a wagon which was pulled by "Kazakhstani peasant women." In 2009, meanwhile, he performed a stunt with Eminem to promote "Bruno" at MTV Video Music Awards.
Back in 2007, the British funnyman was asked to be a presenter at the Oscars, but he insisted to only do it if he was allowed to appear as Borat. When the Academy, which is known for always being careful in excluding any kinds of movie promotion from its annual Oscars telecast, refused his request, he decided to pass the show.