Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen can only show up to the Oscars on Sunday if he promises not to come dressed as General Aladee, the main character of his soon-to-be-released movie The Dictator.
The actor’s tickets to the award show were pulled after the Academy got wind of Cohen’s plan to show up on the red carpet decked out as Aladee, who may or may not be modeled after Muammar Gaddafi, the former ruler of Libya who was run out of his position in a civil war and killed by opposition fighters in August 2011. As Deadline reports, Cohen, who is an Academy member and one of the stars of Hugo (which is a Best Picture contender), was told he cannot attend the 84th annual Academy Awards.
However, after a bit of backlash, the Academy then said Cohen could come if, and only if, he promises not to show up in costume or promote The Dictator on the red carpet.
“We would love to have Sacha Baron Cohen at the Oscar show,” an Academy spokesperson told CNN. “We have expressed [to Cohen] that we don’t like our red carpet to be used as a promotional stunt. We’re waiting to hear from him. We’ve put the ball in his court.”
Knowing Cohen, this is just the type of scenario he’d love, so we’re anxiously awaiting to see how he turns this awkward situation into a hilarious stunt for another upcoming movie.
Meanwhile, all the publicity is no doubt sparking plenty of interest in said film.