Earlier this week those intelligent little rascals in the Paramount marketing department managed to cause a bit of a hubbub surrounding their upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator after the Academy turned down their request to have Cohen walk the Oscars red carpet in full costume as his dictator character, Admiral General Aladeen. Naturally the story was spun to make it look like Cohen was banned from the Oscars, and you know as well as we do that once the word "banned" enters a conversation, it then becomes a conversation that spreads ... and spreads ... and spreads.
In the end the Academy wasn't banning Cohen, they just didn't want him tainting the red carpet arrivals by running around and causing a ruckus for some movie promo. Sacha Baron Cohen, the actor, is still allowed to attend the awards on behalf of Martin Scorsese's Hugo, in which he also stars.
But Paramount isn't ready to let go of this yet, for obvious reasons. And so here's Admiral General Aladeen's response to the Academy below, in which he blasts their decision to ban him and complains about the $2 million he spent on acquiring his date for the evening, actress Hilary Swank.
The Dictator hits theaters on May 11.