Sacha Baron Cohen posts video response to Oscars controversy

Sacha Baron Cohen, posing as Admiral General Aladeen, says he wants his Oscar tickets back; Academy president says Sacha Baron Cohen has them.

Republic of Wadiya/YouTube screenshot
Sacha Baron Cohen, star of the upcoming movie 'The Dictator,' says the Academy will face 'unimaginable consequences' if he doesn't get his tickets back. The Academy says he has them.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen has released a video in character as his “Dictator” persona Admiral General Aladeen, saying the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has until noon on Sunday to give him his Oscar tickets back. Following rumors he planned to walk the red carpet in character as Aladeen, there were some reports that the Academy had banned Cohen from the ceremony Sunday evening.

But the organization behind the Oscars says Cohen has not been officially banned, with Academy president Tom Sherak telling The Wrap this morning that Cohen has his tickets.

“We want him to come to the show,” he said in an interview. “But we would like him to come as Sacha.”

Sherak did not say in the interview with The Wrap if any action would take place if Cohen arrived in costume as Aladeen.

Cohen’s minute-and-a-half-long video, beginning with a line of text stating it was produced by the Republic of Wadiya Media (the fictional country ruled by Aladeen) and instructions to “Please Stand,” was filmed with Cohen sitting on a throne. Two actors playing guards held guns and stood at attention behind him, with portraits of Aladeen on the back wall.

Cohen delivered the video in his Aladeen accent of rolling Rs, beginning his speech with, “Good morning, great Satan of America” and adding a polite, “How are you? I am fine, thank you.”

Cohen continued, “I am outraged at being banned from 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… you will face unimaginable consequences.”

The actor also made jokes about romantic comedies like “You’ve Got Mail” and added that he had hired Hilary Swank as his date.

Cohen smiled at the end of the video. “Good luck, Billy Crystals,” he said. “Fantastic.”

Check out the video below:

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