Sacha Baron Cohen Potentially Banned From Oscars

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Deadline reported Wednesday that Sacha Baron Cohen, this generation's preeminent cinematic prankster, had his ticket to the Oscars revoked over fears he would show up as the character from his latest film, The Dictator.

From the article:

“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,” an insider just told me [article author Nikki Finke]. The reason is that a proposal reached the Academy for Baron Cohen to strut the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount film The Dictator.

However, after that story went live, officials from the Oscars tried to clarify things with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

"We haven't banned him," an Academy spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do."

Still, the Academy is making it clear that Cohen is not welcome to use the red carpet as a platform for a promotional stunt for his upcoming movie, and other sources say the threat of booting him became more substantial on Wednesday.

Cohen has a history of pulling pranks both on and off-screen, including giving a speech to Harvard as Ali G and trying to seduce presidential candidate Ron Paul.

But the move is unusual considering his major role in the film Hugo, which is nominated for 11 awards at this year's ceremony, including Best Picture.

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