Borat aka Sacha Baron Cohen at the MTV Studios in New York City. Picture: Bang Showbiz
Borat aka Sacha Baron Cohen at the MTV Studios in New York City. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Kazakh community calls for 'Borat' sequel to be banned from awards consideration

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Nov 17, 2020

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The Kazakh American Association wants “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” banned from awards consideration.

The nonprofit organisation - which is dedicated to "preserving and promoting" Kazakhstan's heritage and culture in the US - has hit out at Sacha Baron Cohen's sequel for an alleged racist portrayal, and called on the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America and BAFTAs to bar the comedy.

A letter - which is co-signed by the Hollywood Film Academy and Council on American-Islamic Relations - reads: "The Kazakh community worldwide is under-represented and inherently vulnerable.

“Our nation is still recovering from an oppressive colonial past, which is why we do not have substantial media representation.

"Sacha Baron Cohen understands this fact and exploits Kazakhstan by hijacking our ethnic identity, whitewashing us by portraying us as Eastern Europeans, and inciting harassment toward Kazakh people worldwide.

"Our people report countless cases of sexual and physical harassment as well as bullying due to the ’Borat’ franchise.”

HFA CEO Gia Noortas and CAIR's Tampa Bay's regional co-ordinary Hiba Rahim claimed in a joint statement that the original 2006 “Borat” movie resulted in discrimination towards Kazakh people.

Although Amazon - who distributed the sequel - is yet to comment, Baron Cohen previously addressed criticisms following the film's release last month.

He said: "This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country.

"I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the U.S. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world.

"The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat’s version.”

The Kazakhstan government - which banned the first film - has not reacted as strongly this time, instead using Borat's "very nice" catchphrase into a new tourism campaign.

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