Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest alter ego, Admiral Gen. Shabazz Aladeen, responded Friday to being banned from the Academy Awards by threatening the West with “unimaginable consequences” unless the sanction was lifted.
Cohen called “Today” hosts Carl Quintanilla and Ann Curry on Friday in character as tyrannical despot Aladeen to express his “outrage” over the decision by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“I had to delay 30 executions to do this,” he said of his press interview, threatening “oil prices might be raised” if the event organizers did not change their minds.
In addition to the “Today” appearance, Cohen also posted a longer YouTube video as Aladeen, his character in the upcoming film “The Dictator.”
“On behalf of the nation of Wadiya, I am outraged at being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Zionists,” the English comedian said, sporting a long beard and a military uniform with gold epaulets.
“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 12:00pm on Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences,” he added.
The 40-year-old was invited to the Oscars because he co-stars in the film “Hugo,” which is nominated for Best Picture.
Reports surfaced Wednesday that Cohen was angling to attend the film fest as Aladeen, much like he attended the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards as his character “Bruno.”
But the Academy denied Cohen’s request.
“We don’t feel it’s appropriate to use our Oscar red carpet as a venue for a movie promotional stunt,” a rep said.