American politician Sarah Palin has claimed she was “duped” by Sacha Baron Cohen into being interviewed for his upcoming Showtime series Who Is America? In Facebook post on Tuesday, the former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate said she had agreed to speak to Cohen thinking that he was a wounded veteran.
Who is America? is set to be premiered on July 15 on Showtime and will be along the lines of Baron-Cohen’s Da Ali G Show. The British satirical comedy featured the actor playing a range of characters, including wannabe gangster Ali G, Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev and gay Austrian fashion enthusiast Brüno Gehard. Cohen would pretend to be one of these characters and interview popular personalities, including government officials, asking them ridiculous and outlandish questions. Baron-Cohen has indicated that that the new show will take on United States President Donald Trump and the current administration in the country.
Palin said in the post that she and her daughter were “victims” of Baron Cohen’s humour. “Yup - we were duped. Ya’ got me, Sacha. Feel better now?,” she wrote. “I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitive, sick ‘humor’ of the British ‘comedian’ Sacha Baron Cohen, enabled and sponsored by CBS/Showtime.”
Palin said that she was requested by a speaker’s bureau to take up a “legit opportunity” to honour American Vets and contribute to a “legit Showtime historical documentary”.
“For my interview, my daughter and I were asked to travel across the country where Cohen (I presume) had heavily disguised himself as a disabled US Veteran, fake wheelchair and all. Out of respect for what I was led to believe would be a thoughtful discussion with someone who had served in uniform, I sat through a long “interview” full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm - but finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen’s chagrin. The disrespect of our US military and middle-class Americans via Cohen’s foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse,” she wrote.
Palin issued a challenge to Baron Cohen, CBS and Showtime to air the footage and donate all the proceeds from his upcoming show to a charity working for war veteedrans in the United States of America. “Mock politicians and innocent public personalities all you want, if that lets you sleep at night, but HOW DARE YOU mock those who have fought and served our country,” she wrote.
Palin also said that the producers of the show knowingly dropped her daughter and her at the wrong airport after the interview, despite knowing that this would cause them to miss their flights back to their home in Alaska. “After refusing to take our calls to help get us out of the bind they’d put us in for three days, I wrote this off as yet another example of the sick nature that is media-slash-entertainment today. Feel good and manly about your M.O., Sacha?,” she said.
Baron Cohen has primarily worked in films after the end of Da Ali G Show in 2004. He produced movies featuring three characters from the show: Ali G Indahouse (2002), Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), and Brüno (2009). He has also appeared in the films Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), The Dictator (2012) and Les Misérables (2012).
Baron Cohen is now set to feature in Netflix’s limited series The Spy, based on real-life Israeli double agent Eli Cohen.