Sacha Baron Cohen's brand of confrontational comedy has often sparked lawsuits, so it's no surprise that his latest efforts - 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan' - has been hit with a lawsuit.
Intriguingly, the lawsuit this time hasn't come from some silly right-wing goober that Baron Cohen's managed to hoodwink with his elaborate makeup and accent work, but from a Holocaust survivor's estate.
Judith Dim Evans, who was born in Germany and survived the Holocaust as a child, was interviewed by Baron Cohen in character as Borat. Yet, the estate of Judith Dim Evans claims that she was interviewed under false pretenses and that "upon learning after giving the interview that the movie was actually a comedy intended to mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture, Ms. Evans was horrified and upset."
Judith Dim Evans passed away some months ago, with her estate bringing the case against Sacha Baron Cohen and Amazon. Baron Cohen, who is Jewish also, has defended Borat's anti-Semitic rantings as exposing the inherent idiocy and regresiveness in it. Indeed, fellow Jewish comedians in the past like Mel Brooks - who wrote 'Springtime for Hitler' as part of 'The Producers' - and Taika Waititi - who played Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit' - have highlighted the stupidity of anti-Semitism by playing Nazis themselves.
Per The Wrap, the scene with Judith Dim Evans and Baron Cohen as Borat was intended to highlight Borat's anti-Semitism by having Ms. Evans recount her own experiences of the Holocaust to Borat's face. Not only that, it's understood that there is footage of Baron Cohen afterwards explaining to Ms. Evans that Borat was a character, and that the point of the movie was to mock anti-Semitism and expose the stupidity of it in the character.
This is crucial, as it's very often the case that Baron Cohen never reveals to his interview subjects that they've been part of the joke until the movie itself is released, or until news of the interview has been made public.
Both Sacha Baron Cohen and Amazon have made no public statements about the lawsuit as of yet, and the release of the movie is still scheduled for October 23rd.