Well, what do you know? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences doesn’t want Sacha Baron Cohen showing up at the Oscars dressed as a nightmarish hybrid of Moammar Gadhafi and Idi Amin.
But they’re not so against the idea that they’ve disinvited the otherwise-estimable funnyman from the ceremony entirely.
“We’ve made our position clear to Mr. Cohen’s team,” an Academy rep tells E! News. “We’d love to have him at the show, but the ball is in his court.”
And what is that position, exactly?
“The position we took was, ‘We would not like you to do this,'” the rep said. “We’re just waiting to hear back from him. We’d love to have him at the show, to have him celebrate with the rest of the Hugo team, and we’re just waiting.”
While Cohen would be attend the 84th Annual Academy Awards in the guise of his latest character, General Aladeen, to promote his upcoming dark comedy, The Dictator, he’s technically supposed to just be a member of the Hugo club. Scorsese’s whimsical film leads all comers with 11 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.
In fact, according to various reports, Cohen planned to change into regular formal wear after walking the carpet (or perhaps riding up it on a camel).
But the Oscars aren’t the MTV Movie Awards, and the Academy apparently doesn’t want a Bruno’s-butt-in-Eminem’s-face kind of stunt. Or, for that matter, any incident that could tarnish the luster of Hollywood’s biggest night.
Not to mention, the organization isn’t much for guests using the occasion as an opportunity to market their upcoming films.
“Our tradition has been to not use our carpet as a location for promotional stunts,” the Academy rep told us. “To give some background, we also don’t introduce presenters as ‘star of the upcoming movie…Will Ferrell.’ We keep that piece out of the show.
“Other shows do that, but at our show, it’s just, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Will Ferrell.’ We don’t have promotional clutter going through our telecast. It’s all about the celebration of movies we’ve seen.”
Neither Paramount nor Cohen’s camp have commented in response to reports of the actor’s plan