Rumors are swirling that have the Academy a bit concerned. The rumor is that on Sunday, Sacha Baron Cohen will come to the Oscars and walk the red carpet. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but he will most likely come dressed as the title character from his upcoming Paramount comedy The Dictator.
Baron Cohen’s people have proposed the publicity stunt to the Academy members, but it seems everyone involved with the Oscars event is adamantly against it. It makes sense that the Academy would be against it, as it could be perceived that it makes a mockery of Hollywood’s most prestigious event. It is rumored that Baron Cohen may sneak his character in either way.
The plan would be to come dressed as the dictator and then change into a tux and attend the Oscars. Even though he isn’t not scheduled to present an award, he would be welcome as part of the Paramount contingent. The studio has a Best Picture nominee in the Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo.
An Academy spokesperson acknowledges they’ve heard the rumors, but aren’t sure if it’s actually going to happen.“We would hope that every studio knows that this is a bad idea. the red carpet is not about stunting,” said the spokesperson. The spokesperson added that the Oscars is no place for such racy and blatant promotion.
The Oscars historically only allowed indirect promotion of films (people are likely to watch films that win and are nominated). This is the first year that the Academy is allowing films to promote during the Oscar telecast, but it’s a far jump from a commercial to having your farcical character stroll down the red carpet.