LOS ANGELES — Sacha Baron Cohen has threatened Academy Award "zionists" with "unimaginable consequences" if they ban him from Sunday's Oscars, in a spoof riposte to a warning against staging a publicity stunt.
In full regalia as the military dictator from his latest film, the colorful British actor gave them a deadline of noon Sunday to approve his attendance at Tinseltown's biggest awards show that evening.
"I am outraged at being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists," he said in a word-play on the illustrious body that organizers the Oscars.
"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 12:00 pm on Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences!"
The "Ali G," "Borat" and "Bruno" star, who has a history of publicity stunts, was warned by the Academy earlier this week that he would not be allowed to stage a publicity stunt for his latest movie, "The Dictator," at the Oscars.
But Baron Cohen, wagging his finger repeatedly at the camera and dressed in the uniform and beard of the leader of the fictional Republic of Wadiya, insisted he should be allowed to attend.
"Furthermore it is an act of aggression that no Wadiyan films have been recognized by the Academy. Where are the nominations for such classic films as 'When Harry kidnapped Sally, 'You've got Mailbomb,' or 'Planet of the Rapes'?"
"On top of all of this I paid Hilary Swank two million dollars to be my date, and she will not refund a penny. My Sunday calendar is now as empty as a North Korean grocery store," he said.
US actress Swank apologized last October for taking part in the 35th birthday party for Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses in the Caucasus republic.
"Death to the West, death to America," concluded the actor and comedian, who would attend the Oscars show as part of the cast of Martin Scorsese's 3D adventure "Hugo," which is nominated in 11 categories, the most for any film.
Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.
This video is from Reuters, February 24, 2012.