After widespread media reports that the Motion Picture Academy had banned actor Sacha Baron Cohen from attending the Academy Awards ceremony, the Academy has clarified its position, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
As we reported earlier, Cohen was said to have had his tickets revoked by the Academy — in effect, banning him from the event — after the Academy got wind of his plan to appear on the red carpet as his character from his upcoming movie “The Dictator.” But the Academy says that’s not what happened.
A spokesperson for the Academy told THR: "We haven’t banned him. We’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do."
The Academy continues to express its determination not to allow Cohen to pull a promotional stunt for the movie.
Cohen has been expected to attend as part of the contingent representing Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” which is nominated for best picture and 10 other Oscars. Cohen has a substantial role in the movie as the station inspector.
THR reports that Paramount, the studio behind both “Hugo” and “The Dictator,” has been notified by the Academy that it wants to know what Cohen has planned for Oscars night.
The Academy spokesperson told THR “We don’t think it’s appropriate,” referring to the prospect of a promotional stunt by Cohen. The spokesperson added: “We’re waiting to hear back.”
The story notes: “Cohen has a history of using awards shows and other big events to hype his movies. To help launch ‘Borat’ in 2006, Cohen arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival dressed up as his TV journalist alter ego, riding a wagon pulled by ‘Kazakhstani peasant women.’ At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he came as gay fashionista Bruno (to promote ‘Bruno’).”