Sacha Baron Cohen has not been banned for attending the 84th Academy Awards although a spokesman has made it clear it would not be "appropriate" for him to use the Oscars as a platform to plug his new movie The DICtator - i.e, turn up in costume.
Reports in the U.S on Wednesday (February 23, 2012) had suggested that Cohen was unwelcome to the event because he was intending to go dressed to the ceremony as the protagonist from his upcoming movie The DICtator, who is said to be inspired by former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Paramount Pictures' say the satirical comedy follows the life of an autocrat who "risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed", and promotional materials show Cohen dressed in white military uniform, with sunglasses and a long dark beard. The Academy spokesman hinted that the actor would have to choose between coming dressed in "inappropriate" attire or not attending the ceremony at all, saying, "We don't think it's appropriate.But his tickets haven't been pulled. We're waiting to hear back". The DICtator is a loose adaptation of the novel Zabibah and the King', which is speculated to have been written by the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
Should Sacha Baron Cohen choose to ignore the Academy's warning, it wouldn't be the first time he has used industry events to promote his movies. In 2006, he arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival dressed as Borat - the main character from his hit movie of the same name. In 2009, he attended the MTV Music Video Awards as Bruno, again to promote one of his comedy films. Cohen's movie 'Hugo', directed by Martin Scorsese leads the nominations at this year's Oscars with 11 nods. Though it is unlikely to scoop any of the major prizes, the magical family flick is also in the running for numerous cinematography and special effects gongs.