Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscar skit scrapped for fear of offending James Cameron

People's Choice Awards 2010 - Show
Remember when Sacha Baron Cohen managed to land right in Eminem’s lap at the MTV movie awards? Cohen was in character as Austrian Bruno at the time, and he flew through the air on cables dressed as an angel. He ended up flipping over and lowering onto Eminem’s seat, his bare ass cheeks and crotch right in Eminem’s face. Em left all pissed off, just as could be expected, and then later tried to play it off like he knew about the stunt ahead of time. Well, Oscar night producers wanted to avoid a similar scenario with Director James Cameron. Cohen had a whole skit planned out with Ben Stiller in which he would have been dressed like a female Navii from Avatar who accused Cameron of getting her pregnant with his love child. Producers were afraid of offending Cameron and decided to scrap it, though. Cohen’s rep said that the segment was canned due to “creative differences,” but insiders say that an Oscar Producer who worked with Cameron realized that the guy didn’t have the sense of humor needed to graciously accept that he was being mocked.

An insider familiar with the Oscar telecast tells Vulture that an Avatar sketch planned by Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller was nixed yesterday by show producer Bill Mechanic, who worried that Cameron would be so offended by it that he might even walk out of the Oscar broadcast on live TV.
So what skit could possibly so incense the HMFIC?

Our insider informs us that Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na’vi, with Stiller translating “her” interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn’t translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open “her” evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron’s love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer.

Mechanic, now both a producer of motion pictures and of this year’s Oscar telecast, was head of Twentieth Century Fox when Cameron’s Titanic famously went massively over budget and over schedule, so he’s well acquainted with Cameron’s sense of humor — or lack of it. “Let’s just say that Cameron isn’t known to be, shall we say, ‘self-deprecating,’” explained one insider familiar with the decision to cut the sketch.

Academy spokesperson Toni Thompson would only confirm that Baron Cohen was no longer presenting, but Baron Cohen’s spokesman, Matt Labov, tells Vulture that “I hate to use the term, because it’s so ubiquitous, but there were ‘creative differences.’ Nothing acrimonious, but both sides felt that since they couldn’t agree, [Cohen] might as well remain in London.” (Calls to Mechanic’s office were not returned at deadline.)

[From NYMag via WeSmirch]

That’s a shame as it would have added some obnoxious levity to the show. I have to say that last year wasn’t half bad, though, and that attempts to get the Oscars to lighten up and be more entertaining really worked. The skits were fun and I loved that they brought the stage and the audience closer together. There were also short touching tributes from fellow actors to each of the nominees. Overall they did a great job. I’m hoping that they’re going for a similar less formal format this year and that they keep up the momentum throughout the ceremony. Oh and they can always make it a little shorter!

People's Choice Awards 2010 - Show

2009 MTV Movie Awards

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19 Responses to “Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscar skit scrapped for fear of offending James Cameron”

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  1. Goosie says:

    Ugh, Cameron ruins EVERYTHING.

  2. bellaluna says:

    What about the people Cameron has offended? He’s not exactly a model of consideration and tact.

  3. dee says:

    I dont know much about Cameron and I may be the only one, but I do not find anything funny about Sacha Baron. I do have very open-minded sense of humor but I just dont get what everyone thinks is so funny about this guy. I think his stunts are really just dumb. Reminds me of one of those people that tries to hard to be funny but never really is.

  4. dude says:

    He isnt a bad looking guy when he isnt wearing a leotard! Go Isla! I think he is hilarious…i am a little immature for my age tho (24) sKeet skeet bang bang…2 pimps no hoes…haha

  5. Annicka says:

    Too bad. That would’ve been hilarious! I don’t see why Cameron’s lack of a sense of humor would kill this. Eminem isn’t exactly known for his sense of humor regarding gayness/being made fun of, and they went ahead with that skit. I doubt Eminem actually knew about it.

  6. JohnnieR says:

    Dee, I know exactly what you mean. I sat through ‘Borat’ with my girlfriend (the film we wanted to see was sold out). We became increasingly bored and disgusted at his so-called humour, and we both have a warped sense of humour! There were people in the audience at the screening who were pissing themselves laughing; my girlfriend and I exchanged several “WTF?” looks.

    Two hours and sixteen bucks I’ll never get back.

  7. sarah says:

    Dee, I agree. I don’t find Cohen even the least bit funny.

  8. sasha says:

    Blech. Cohen is a total one-trick pony and I’m not sorry he’s been canned. Same tired old shit is all he ever does.

    That said, I don’t care for Cameron either, but the less we get of SBC’s tiresome shtick can only be a good thing.

  9. Melanie says:

    The Ali G. Show is pure genius. His movies are just redo’s.

  10. Tia C says:

    I have a fairly juvenile sense of humor, but I don’t find Cohen very funny at all. I thought “Da Ali G Show” was the worst, and his movies are barely tolerable. Although I would’ve loved to see him and Ben Stiller making fun of “The King of Smug” James Cameron, he sounds like such a douche. But I don’t watch awards shows anyway, because they are long and boring, so oh well.

  11. JC126 says:

    Heaven forbid anyone offend the delicate sensibilities of poor little James Cameron, purveyor of overrated crap like Titanic and Avatar.

  12. LindyLou says:

    Dude is totally sexy when he is not in character! :o)

  13. Mistral says:

    The movies might be a little tiresome (it’s like trying to turn a short story into a novel), but Da Ali G Show was pure genius. It worked while people didn’t know who he was and thought he was serious. He exposed a lot of people’s foibles and true opinions through his Ali G, Borat, and Bruno interviews. The best was when he was in character as Borat, interviewing some old British prof at Oxford or Cambridge. He looks around in confused “foreigner from patriarchal society” fashion and asks the prof about the fact that he sees women around. When he expresses his nation’s opinion of the place of women in society, the prof laugh and agrees with him, but says that they have to let us in now. I bet that prof regretted the day he spoke to TV Khazakhstan! LOL

  14. Goosie says:

    Melanie, I loved Da Ali G show so much, and thought Borat was funny, too. But I didn’t even get halfway through Bruno, it was that bad.

  15. MsTriste says:

    He’s hot. I think he’s talented, and love the fact that in general he doesn’t care who he offends.

    He’s also part of a talented family: his brother Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen is one of the leading autism researchers in the world.

  16. british bitch says:

    SBC is simply not funny. Calling him a one trick pony is an over statement.

  17. filthycute says:

    Da Ali G Show is absolute gold. I re-watch it often and laugh hard every time.

    I don’t know what people expect from SBC, but Borat and Bruno were funny if you went in knowing what you were gonna get: low brow toilet humour. 😉

  18. RHONYC says:

    @ LindyLou:

    A-MEN to that sister!

    he’s smokin’ in this pic.

    he & that lil’ sex kitten isla are probably bananas in the bedroom.

    remember how nuts she was in ‘wedding crashers’?


  19. Raymon Lara says:

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