The Academy Awards has always been Hollywood's night to trot out its biggest stars in the most beautiful designer clothes so they can all have a classy awards ceremony and congratulate the previous year's best work. For the most part, the organizers and producers of the broadcast try to keep the mood of the night on the "classy" side of things.
So when actor Sacha Baron Cohen hinted he'd be looking to mix things up by showing up in full costume as his character from his new film, "The Dictator," the producers of the Oscars sent up some red flags. Rumors of them banning Cohen though are untrue, according to a rep for the awards show. However, they have said they feel Sacha should not show up on the red carpet in costume because it would be the kind of grandstanding and taking over of the event that they feel is not proper or in keeping with the tone of the show.
We'd like to suggest, however, that the Academy swallow a couple of chill pills and let Cohen show up however he sees fit. We can think of any number of reasons, but here are a few of the more compelling.
If It's Good for Matt and Trey... - Perhaps the Academy just needs to be reminded of the stunt that "South Park" and "The Book of Mormon" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker pulled on the Oscar red carpet in 2000. The pair showed up in full drag, dressed in iconic dresses that Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow wore to awards shows in the past. Everyone in attendance thought it was good fun, so why not just laugh along wtih Sacha if he comes dressed as his character from his new film?
The Costume May Be Better Than the Dresses - We've all seen some "questionable" choices being made in regards to fashion on the red carpet. Singer Bjork's swan dress comes immediately to mind. Every year in fact, there's at least one or two actresses that make some very bold, fashion-forward choices for their gown and wind up being the butt of every joke for the next couple of weeks. So what's the difference between that and Cohen stepping out in a full military uniform, even if it is from a fictional character or country?
Who Are They Kidding? - Honestly, what the Academy Awards are every year is a nearly four hour commercial for Hollywood and the motion picture industry. Yes, there are awards given to artists who give great performances or create amazing works of art, but the bottom line is that it's all about marketing their goods to the consumers. Even if Cohen's stunt is simply a cheap form of advertising who cares? If anything, at least the "Bruno" star is trying to get some laughs and entertain the viewers with his hype job.
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- Sacha Baron Cohen