An actor who stars in of one of the top Oscar contenders has reportedly been banned from attending the Academy Awards ceremony, according to Deadline.com.
Sacha Baron Cohen had his tickets pulled by the Motion Picture Academy, according to the report. Cohen plays the station inspector, a key role in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” which is up for 11 Oscars. The Academy wants assurances that Cohen won’t appear in character, according to the story.
Cohen has courted controversy in the past with roles such as Borat on the big screen and his earlier TV incarnation as Ali G. The Academy appears to be concerned that this time he will strut the red carpet in full costume as the character from his upcoming movie "The Dictator," the story notes.
Without those assurances, the Academy has refused to issue him tickets to attend, the report adds.
A source at Paramount, which is distributing “The Dictator,” told the publication: “Unless they’re assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the red carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show.”
"The Dictator" is a comedy that depicts a Middle Eastern leader who fights to make sure his country never becomes a democracy, the piece notes.
The Oscars will be broadcast this Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC.