Deadline’s Nikki Finke reports from Hollywood that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has pulled actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s tickets from the 84th Academy Awards. He will be banned from attending the Oscars even though he is an Academy member and one of the stars of “Hugo,” Paramount Pictures’ contender for Best Picture and 10 other nominations.
Finke says a source at Paramount told her that “Unless they’re assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the Red Carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show.” Right, who wants that?
The reason for this severe case of overreaction is a proposal that reached the Academy for Baron Cohen to strut the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount comedy “The Dictator.”
In a later report, Finke added that, faced with all the bad publicity resulting from its action, the Academy tried to parse what it did when questioned by some media outlets. But the fact is that, this morning, the Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch phoned Paramont’s awards staff to say Baron Cohen’s tickets had been pulled unless he gives the Academy assurances ahead of time that he won’t show up on the Red Carpet in costume and won’t promote his movie on the Red Carpet.
The Academy made it clear that, without those assurances, it would not issue him the tickets. But, knowing Mr. Cohen, this whole thing may have been an orchestrated incident to increase anticipation of his strutting. when he starts strutting.