Sacha Baron Cohen Banned from the Oscars


It still tickles us that grand prankster Sacha Baron Cohen played a lawman of sorts in Martin Scorsese’s love letter to the golden age of filmmaking, Hugo . The film is based on Brian Selznick’s 2007 novel, which is set in the 1930s and follows an orphaned Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who lives inside the walls of a busy Paris train station. His secret life finds him stealing, being a clock keeper, and saddling up with a bookish girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and a bitter toymaker (Ben Kingsley). Cohen starred as Station Inspector Gustave, but the actor and comedian is best-known for breaking all the rules off-screen.

Oscars organizers have been warning Cohen not to stir up trouble at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony. Scorsese’s film will undoubtedly be a huge winner this year, and ceremony producers want him to play nice. It’s been rumored that the star would show up dressed as his latest alter ego, The Dictator — the “Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi-style autocratic leader of fictional Middle Eastern nation the Republic of Wadiya.” The Dictator is set to hit theaters in May, and Cohen is well known for pulling publicity stunts in character. Yesterday it was reported that the actor’s plan was to come dressed as The Dictator and then change into a tuxedo and attend the Oscars like normal.

Deadline now says that the Academy has pulled Cohen’s tickets, banning him from the Red Carpet event, ” … unless they’re assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen … ” Do you think they’re being fair, or is their old stodginess showing once more? Weigh in below.


“We haven’t banned him,” an Academy spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do.” Deadline is still sticking to their story.