Once again, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences – the folks behind the Oscars – have shown just how stodgy and stuffy they can be.
It was announced today that AMPAS has pulled the tickets ear marked for Sacha Baron Cohen. This is in spite of him being an Academy member and co-starring in Hugo, a film with 11 nominations. Apparently word had gotten to the organization that he planned to walk the red carpet dressed as his character from the upcoming new comedy, The Dictator. He then planned to change into a tuxedo for the actual ceremony so as not to cause a ruckus.
AMPAS was having no part of this and pulled his tickets this morning according to Deadline.
Apparently the ultimatum has been set down that Cohen most give assurances that he will not arrive in costume nor promote his movie on the red carpet. Without those assurances he will not be allowed to attend the ceremony this Sunday.
Once again AMPAS is merely showing the world how out of touch they are with the industry they supposedly celebrate. They are based on a business built on creativity, and yet I don’t think anyone can remember the last time they themselves they were creative. If you ever watch anything like the Golden Globes or the BAFTAs from the U.K., you see people having fun, enjoying themselves and cracking jokes off the cuff. When you watch the Oscars you get poorly written “comedy” that sounds like it would be at home in a dinner theater of the 1950s.
Actors and actresses have always discussed their upcoming projects while on the red carpet prior to the ceremony, and while I can almost – and I stress ‘almost’ – understand the issue of him showing up in costume, a blanket ban on him doing any promotion is just silly.
Of course, there is all of the promotion Cohen’s film is now getting from this controversy, so more power to him. Why go through the hassle of getting into costume when AMPAS can just be silly and do the work for you?
UPDATE: Admiral General Aladeen has responded to the controversy.
UPDATE 2: The Academy has given in.