Although Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, Borat, becomes shrill and frequent hits at fanatic thought of all types – misogyny, homophobia, etc., Baron Cohen frequently reserves Borat with the broadest and most aggressive attacks on him. anti-Semitism, revealing its regressive idiocy when and where it can. This attack on bigotry is firmly in line with Baron Cohen’s own beliefs, something he has stated both in character and externally, including in a recent Time editorial where he expressed contempt for the only Facebook-recently changed decision to ban Holocaust denial groups from its servers.
Baron Cohen’s new Amazon movie, Next Borat movie, should traffic in all these same topics. But now the film faces opposition from the estate of one of its interview subjects: Holocaust survivor Judith Dim Evans, whose estate claims Baron Cohen interviewed her (as that Borat) under false pretenses, and that “Upon learning after giving the interview that the film was in fact a comedy intended to poke fun at the Holocaust and Jewish culture, Ms. Evans was horrified and upset.
What’s most interesting about the case (but perhaps not for Amazon, which now faces a legal attempt to block the film’s October 23 release) is that Baron Cohen appears to have done everything possible. to try to treat Evans – a renowned college professor and lecturer whose role in the film would be to highlight Borat’s anti-Semitic fanaticism by telling him about his experiences during the Holocaust – with unusual respect. By The Wrap, footage apparently exists of Evans, after the interview, as Borat waun character, and that the whole point of the film is to poke fun at anti-Semitism. (Baron Cohen normally never informs his subjects that they have been deceived.) The film is also apparently dedicated to Evans, who died shortly after the interview.
Evans Estate has filed a lawsuit against Amazon and production company Oak Springs Productions in the state of Georgia. Estate lawyers have also filed a temporary restraining order against the film, hoping to delay its release. Neither Amazon nor Baron Cohen have publicly commented on the lawsuit.