Finally something a bit juicier to say about the Oscars. Apparently, The Academy denies ever banning British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen from attending Sunday's Academy Awards, so say The Hollywood Reporter.
The rumour mill was rife with reports that the Borat/Bruno star had been warned off attending for fear that he'd come dressed as a character in his new film (The Dictator). A spokesperson from the Academy has come out to say that Cohen was always welcome to attend the event, but it was not "appropriate" to use the Oscars to plug the new film.
This all came to our attention last week when reports suggested that Cohen who has been invited to the awards as a cast member of Oscar-nominated film Hugo, was intending to go to the ceremony dressed as his character in forthcoming movie. Although for some this would provide comic relief to what can be quite a long and tiresome evening, Academy spokespeople reckon it would not be appropriate to have a guest dressed as an autocrat "who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed" who sports a white military uniform complete with sunglasses and a long dark beard. Ah but it'd be funny!
Never fear Borat, "his tickets haven't been pulled. We're waiting to hear back."
Aptly pointed out by BBC News this would not have been the first time for the star to use industry events like this to promote his work: In 2006 the actor arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival dressed as Borat, the main character from the hit comedy. (Well at least he didn't don his stomach turning mankini, right?) Then three years later he went to the MTV Video Music Awards as Bruno to maximise publicity for that movie too.
Who could forget that live TV moment when Cohen was launched into the air wearing a harness, landing in the lap of a rather unhappy Eminem. Not so funny though when we heard that the rap star had actually been in on the joke all along.
Not yet released, The Dictator is said to be loosely based on the novel Zabibah and the King, which apparently was written by the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Whether the lead character features in this Sunday's Oscars or not, we'll have to wait and see.