Sacha Baron Cohen's new series 'Who is America?' causes controversy

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen could face being sued after mocking defeated Senate candidate Roy Moore in his new series.


Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest series has already sparked a backlash that could include legal action. The seven-episode show, entitled Who is America? sees Cohen take on various personas whilst mocking the socio-political state of affairs in the US.   

The comedian, famous for adopting personas of Ali G, Borat, Bruno and General Aladeen, is known for his cutting, awkward interviews.

For years, the Jewish comedian has fooled politicians into conducting interviews that involve embarrassment.

One of the Borat-star’s latest victims is defeated Senate candidate Roy Moore. He is now threatening to sue the comedian for defamation over an upcoming episode of Baron Cohen’s new series.

The Republican claimed that he accepted an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington in February after being told he was to receive an award for supporting Israel.

Writing on Facebook, Mr Moore said:

“I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate, and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Dick Cheney”.

Former Sherrif Joe Arpaio, who is running for the US Senate in Arizona, was fooled by Baron Cohen, after being told he was part of a show focusing on the top 20 most famous people in the United States.

86- year-old Mr Arpaio realised something was wrong when the North-London born comedian started using sexually explicit expressions.

During the interview, in Los Angeles in October 2017, Baron Cohen posed as a Finnish actor and wore a disguise.

Baron Cohen takes on different identities in order to trick his interviewees. For example, as his rapper persona Ali G, he subjected Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan to awkward interviews. He got a short interview with Donald Trump 2012, but Trump walked out early on.

It is unknown when his interviews with Cheney, Arpaio and Palin will air during the seven-episode Who is America? run.  

Roy Moore is threatening to file a lawsuit depending on how Who is America? portrays him. If he goes ahead, this will not be the first time Baron Cohen’s stunts have landed him in court.

In a statement Mr Moore said:

“If Showtime airs a defamatory attack on my character, I may very well be involved in another. As for Mr. Cohen, whose art is trickery, deception, and dishonesty, Alabama does not respect cowards who exhibit such traits!”

Who is America? premieres tonight at 10pm on Channel 4.

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