When the movie Borat: American Cultural Insights was released for the glorious nation of Kazakhstan in 2006, AKA Borat was unlike anything most people had ever seen. The mockumentary featured Sacha Baron Cohen as a fictional journalist named Borat Sagdiyev, who was known for his questionable views. Although the film was supposed to be humorous, it sparked a lot of controversy. Additionally, many people have wondered how Baron Cohen got an entire movie out of it based on « fake » interviews with real people. With the long-awaited sequel to Borate, many of these questions have re-emerged. How could Sacha Baron Cohen make a film like Borat without facing legal problems? Read on to learn why Sacha Baron Cohen never lost a lawsuit regarding borate.
One of the most interesting things about Borat is the fact that not only are the interviews authentic, but Baron Cohen also managed to interview some pretty high profile people. This track record of big name interviews dates back to Borat’s early days when the character was on the Da Ali G Show. If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably wondered how Baron Cohen convinced people to conduct interviews with him. The answer is actually pretty simple. According to Slate, Baron Cohen has asked people for interviews with legitimate seeming letters.
The letters mentioned that the interviews were for an upcoming film / television project, although the details were a bit blurry. Unfortunately, for the unsuspecting recipients, the opportunity wasn’t exactly what they thought. All most people would like to believe that they would never fall for something like this. The reality is that some people are so blind to the potential of the opportunity that they do not do the proper research.
As you can imagine, Sacha Baron Cohen has been involved in more than his fair share of lawsuits thanks to Borat. Most people have probably assumed he has lost at least one by now, but he remains undefeated. How is it legal for him to conduct interviews under false pretenses and use them in a film? Easy. The participants actually sign a press release.
According to Distractify, one part of the document states: “The participant agrees that all rights that the participant has in the film or the participant’s contribution to the film are hereby transferred to the producer and that the producer exclusively is entitled to use the film and any recorded material that contains the entrant without limitation in media throughout the universe, permanently and without liability to the entrant or to transfer or license it to others, and the entrant hereby grants all necessary Consents for these purposes. ”
In addition, the agreement also contains text stating that the respondent “expressly, but without limitation, waives claims of the producer or one of his agents and undertakes not to assert any claims at any time in the future, licensee or licensee Anyone connected to the film who contain allegations of … fraud (such as alleged fraud or surprise about the film or this consent form). ”
Basically everyone who agrees to an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen / Borat signs their rights. However, it is clear that most of these people have no idea what they are doing.
For the viewers, Borat is a fun and entertaining experience. Unfortunately, this cannot usually be said for the people involved. Variety interviewed several people interviewed for Borat. Many of them felt that they had been manipulated during the interview process.
Instagram influencer Macy Chanel told Variety, « I’ve been misled into playing a role and being cast as someone who doesn’t reflect who I am. I’ve enjoyed a successful acting career in which I can play any given role. In this case, and probably in many other cases, I haven’t read the fine print. Also, there is a lack of resources to read every casting contract. ”
Judith Dim Evans, a Holocaust survivor interview for Borat 2, had a similar experience. Little did she know at first that Baron was mocking Jewish history and culture and was disgusted when she found out. Although she passed away in 2020, her estate filed a lawsuit against Baron Cohen.
Needless to say, most people aren’t happy to find out they were interviewing for a Borat movie. Moral of the story folks, don’t sign anything without reading it carefully. Otherwise, you might look crazy in a borate movie – or worse.
Camille has a Masters degree in the Writing Studies program from Saint Joseph University and is currently the Assistant Director of the Writing Center at a small university in western Pennsylvania. Camille’s writing has been featured on several websites and she enjoys writing articles and short stories in her spare time. You can follow Camille on Twitter @CamealAshley.
Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher, Sydney, Chris Hemsworth, Australia
World News – AU – The reason Sacha Baron Cohen never lost a borate lawsuit
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