US politician Sarah Palin on Tuesday called Sacha Baron Cohen "evil, exploitative and sick" after the UK satirist had "heavily disguised himself" as a disabled US veteran in a wheelchair for an interview.
Baron Cohen, who ridiculed Kazakhstan and many in the US in the 2006 film "Borat," and is also famed for the English would-be gangster alter ego "Ali G," is returning to television for the first time in a decade with a comedy series on US cable channel Showtime. The seven-episode "Who Is America?" launches on Sunday in the US and will also air in Germany.
In a Facebook post, the former Alaska governor wrote that she and one of her daughters had traveled across the country for what was believed to be a legitimate interview. Palin claimed that her daughter thought the comedian to be a "piece of s---," without being bold enough to formally state her opinion.
'We were duped'
"Yup – we were duped. Ya' got me, Sacha. Feel better now? I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitive, sick ‘humor' of the British ‘comedian,'" Palin wrote in a Facebook post.
"I sat through a long 'interview' full of Hollywoodism's disrespect and sarcasm, but finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen's chagrin. The disrespect of our US military and middle-class Americans via Cohen's foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse," Palin said, also calling on Cohen and Showtime to donate proceeds from the show to a veterans' charity.
After the interview the show's producers dropped her and her daughter off at the wrong airport, Palin added.
Showtime Chief Executive David Nevins said the series had been in the works over the past year and that the company has billed it as "the most dangerous show in the history of television."
Other big names
In the series' official trailer, the former Vice President Dick Cheney is seen signing a water-boarding kit, saying, "I hope you'll tune in next week for an interview with me."
In a tweet, the commentator Matt Drudge said Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders and Ted Koppel were also among those who had "fallen prey" to Baron Cohen.
Baron Cohen interviewed current US President Donald Trump in 2003 as another of his comic characters Ali G and was later attacked by Trump over the film "Borat," a "mockumentary" about a man from Kazakhstan exploring the US.
"They should have pummeled him [Baron Cohen] to the ground. It would have been great," Trump said after "Borat" came out in the US.
Baron Cohen himself tweeted that Trump quote on July 4 fueling speculation that the president may be on the receiving end of the comic's humor once again.
jbh/msh (AP, Reuters)