UPDATED with video of the incident at the end of the post.
So maybe this is why the motion picture academy wasn’t wild about Sacha Baron Cohen coming to the Oscars in character?
The “Borat” star made a big ruckus earlier this week about wanting to walk the Academy Awards red carpet as his character from “The Dictator,” his latest film. The academy initially refused his request, then relented and decided to let Cohen do his little stunt. It seemed like a win-win for him — he’d get loads of free publicity for his movie, which opens in May, either way.
It all played out harmlessly, with Cohen-as-Gen. Aladeen arriving in an enormous limo, flanked by two models in military garb, and dumped some “ashes” from an urn he was carrying — those of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, supposedly.
And then he went and dumped the rest of the urn’s contents on E! red-carpet host Ryan Seacrest. “Now if someone asks who you’re wearing, you can say Kim Jong-Il,” Cohen proclaimed as security shooed him off the red carpet. (That may have been part of the bit as well.)
Seacrest was clearly peeved at the stunt, and TV Guide Network host Chris Harrison, who was standing next to Seacrest on the red carpet, complained several times as people came to clean up the mess. We’re writing about it, so mission accomplished for Cohen, but we’re not guessing he won a whole lot of converts with the gag.
E!, meanwhile, spent a considerable amount of time talking fashion while Seacrest changed into a new tuxedo.
Cohen was scheduled to appear in character during the Oscar telecast as well; we’ll see how (and if) that plays out and keep you posted.
Here’s video of the incident: