All of the People Who Say They Were Duped by Sacha Baron Cohen for ‘Who Is America?’
Sacha Baron Cohen is going all out for his new show, Who Is America?, as so far, at least five major celebrities say they were duped by him.
Who Is America? is a new Showtime series that Cohen is doing in the style of Borat, Brüno, and Da Ali G Show, meaning he tricks celebrities into conducting interviews with him, with those people not realizing that he is an actor playing an over-the-top character. In this case, Cohen’s character for this show seems to be a Donald Trump supporter named Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr.
Days after the show’s premiere date was announced, the first politician to come out and say she was pranked as was Sarah Palin. In a post on her Facebook page, Palin said that she was led to believe she was conducting an interview for a historical documentary and was sitting down with a disabled war vet. Apparently, Cohen was in a complicated disguise and was using a wheelchair.
Palin says that she walked out of the interview because “the disrespect of our US military and middle-class Americans via Cohen’s foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse.” She also notes that she flew with her daughter from Alaska to Washington, D.C. to participate in the interview and says that the production crew purposely dropped them off at the wrong airport and made them miss their flight.
Cohen subsequently responded to Palin’s post with an in-character statement released by Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr.
After Palin, former Congressman Joe Walsh soon said he was duped into an interview as well. In a Twitter thread, Walsh says that he was invited to Washington, D.C. for what he thought was a pro-Israel dinner, and he was asked to conduct an interview before the event began. He says he was taken aback when the interviewer started “talking about how children should defend themselves against terrorist attacks.” Walsh also shared a photo of himself giving the interview, appearing to give us a glimpse at Cohen’s character.
I was rushed to the studio, production was a mess, I sat down and we started talking pro-Israel stuff, Israeli defense, and then out of left field the interviewer starts talking about how children should defend themselves against terrorist attacks. #BoycottShowtime pic.twitter.com/kdwA0h9VyR
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 11, 2018
Ted Koppel. Based on what he told The Hollywood Reporter, It sounds like he experienced something similar to Palin, being asked to sit down for an interview as part of a Showtime documentary called Age of Reason. Koppel says he spoke to a wheelchair-bound man “with an oxygen tank hanging off one of the handles.”
Once again, the interview apparently got pretty ridiculous, and Koppel says the man argued with him about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd.
Next up is Roy Moore, who had the same experience as Joe Walsh; he says he was invited to a pro-Israel dinner. “I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate, and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Dick Cheney,” Moore said.
Finally, Joe Arpaio recently said that he was yet another person tricked into an interview with Cohen. Based on what he told Breitbart, it sounds like he had a completely different experience than everyone else. He apparently thought he was being interviewed by a famous Finnish comedian as part of a Showtime documentary, and he was also made to believe that his interview was being broadcast live with over two million people watching. Cohen supposedly asked him a series of questions about topics like immigration and Trump, and Arpaio became uncomfortable by his explicit language.
These are just the interviews we’ve heard about over the past few days; presumably, tons of other people were tricked by Cohen but haven’t released statements yet. Based on a clip released this week, we also know that another one of Cohen’s victims was Dick Cheney, who is seen signing a waterboard kit. That interview is set to air this Sunday.