Posted on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 1:45pm PDT
Sacha Baron Cohen delivered a response today regarding the controversy surrounding the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences attempt to keep him from walking the Oscar carpet this Sunday, dressed as his latest character, Aladeen, from the upcoming film The Dictator.
The "Admiral General" spoke in a taped segment on NBC's Today Show and called the Academy's decision not to let him attend in-character, "outrageous." He went on to say:
- "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 my tickets back by 12pm Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences!"
Cohen, who is known for appearing at public events and awards dressed in character to drum up publicity for his films, was reportedly "banned" from Hollywood's biggest night, but the Academy has since refuted those reports. They made it clear the comic actor was welcome, but that they had reached out to his reps and to Paramount, the studio behind the film, to be clear of his intentions.
An Academy spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter: "We don't think it's [Cohen attending in-character] appropriate. But his tickets haven't been pulled. We're waiting to hear back."
It is being reported that the Academy is reconsidering their stance on allowing him to walk the red carpet in character, due to the recent backlash over their lack of sense of humor.
This is not the first time Cohen has sparked controversy with the Academy. In 2010 he was dropped from being a presenter at the award show after word spread he was planning to dress as a character from Avatar and poke fun at the film.
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