British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has not been barred from attending the Academy Awards on Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A spokesperson for the Academy scotched rumours that Cohen’s tickets to the event have been revoked, saying: “We haven’t banned him, we’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do.”
Organisers had apparently invited Cohen to attend in recognition of his supporting role in Martin Scorsese’s film Hugo, but became wary of plans allegedly hatched by the actor to appear on the red carpet dressed as his character from the film The Dictator, a heavily-bearded and military-suited totalitarian leader.
“We don’t think it’s appropriate,” said the spokesperson when discussing the possibility of Cohen “hijacking” the red carpet to promote his film.
“But his tickets haven’t been pulled. We’re waiting to hear back,” they added.
Cohen has a history of using media events like the Oscars to promote his work, having arrived at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival dressed as Borat, the main character from his hit comedy film.
He pulled a similar stunt at the MTV Music Awards in 2009, turning up at that event dressed as Bruno to plug his movie of the same name.
The Academy is very touchy about allowing its event to be used for promotion, only recently having green-lit adverts for movies to air during its commercial breaks, and are thus worried about Cohen’s plans.
Sacha Baron Cohen rose to fame as spoof ‘yoof’ character Ali G, interviewing unwary famous people on British TV, before breaking America and producing a string of acclaimed comedy movies in Hollywood.