Sacha Baron Cohen’s new series Who is America? aims to stir that pot, and boy has it been doing just that in the US.
A number of politicians, particularly Republicans, have spoken out against Cohen after being duped in his jaw-dropping new series, and at least one has had to resign. Georgia lawmaker Jason Spencer took part in what he believed to be a training exercise by Anti-Terror Expert Capt. Erran Morad, one of Cohen’s undercover characters.
So, what could have been so bad that Spencer has been pushed to quit? Well, how about yelling out the “N word” repeatedly, or pulling down his pants while threatening to make an attacker a homosexual, or delivering a disrespectful act of an Asian stereotype – while attempting to take a photo of underneath a burka? It’s jaw-dropping stuff, and as with that ‘arming children‘ piece in episode 1, it’s both hilarious and deeply disturbing.
Spencer has put the blame on the fears he says have arisen from threats, which came after he proposed legislation that would ban Muslim women from wearing burqas in public.
“I deeply regret the language I used at (Cohen’s) request as well as my participation in the ‘class’ in general,” he told Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If I had not been so distracted by my fears, I never would have agreed to participate in the first place. I apologize to my family, friends, and the people of my district for this ridiculously ugly episode.”
WHO IS AMERICA? is a half-hour series from comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in his return to series television for the first time in more than a decade in the genre he created first in Da Ali G Show. In the works over the past year, WHO IS AMERICA? explores the diverse individuals who populate our unique nation, and features Baron Cohen experimenting in the playground of 2018 America.