News and Commentary

Sacha Baron Cohen: ‘Borat’ Sequel Was About ‘The Dangers Of Voting For Trump’
A person wearing a mask walks past a bus stop ad on 5th Avenue, October 15, 2020, for the upcoming movie "Borat 2," featuring actor Sacha Baron Cohen, ahead of its release on October 23. - The poster gives reference to the Covid-19 pandemic by replacing Borats iconic green mankini with a face mask.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has admitted the obvious: The “Borat” sequel was all about destroying President Donald Trump’s re-election chances.

Speaking with The Sun, Cohen said that he meant for the movie to “deliver a message” on the “dangers of voting for Trump.”

“The aim of the movie is to deliver a message. That’s the reason why Borat came out when it did,” he said.

“I thought the thing I can do to warn people is to use my funniest character, my most popular ­character, to show what I thought the dangers of ­voting for Trump were. I felt democracy was at a very dangerous point,” Cohen added.

Now that Trump has exited the White House, Cohen said that he will be taking a break.

“There’s nothing up next. It’s been a busy year. Donald Trump is out and I want a break,” he said.

Cohen recently spearheaded the effort to have Trump kicked off YouTube shortly after Twitter permanently suspended the former president’s account.

“This is the most important moment in the history of social media. The world’s largest platforms have banned the world’s biggest purveyor of lies, conspiracies and hate,” Cohen said after Trump’s Twitter ban. “To every Facebook and Twitter employee, user and advocate who fought for this–the entire world thanks you!”

Speaking with Anti-Defamation League in 2019, Cohen said that social media has a responsibility to stop the spread of disinformation, arguing that Hitler would have been able to reach billions of people in a matter of minutes if social media existed in the 1930s.

“Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others — they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged — stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear,” he said. “It’s why YouTube recommended videos by the conspiracist Alex Jones billions of times. It’s why fake news outperforms real news, because studies show that lies spread faster than truth. And it’s no surprise that the greatest propaganda machine in history has spread the oldest conspiracy theory in history — the lie that Jews are somehow dangerous.”

“Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’ So, here’s a good standard and practice: Facebook, start fact-checking political ads before you run them, stop micro-targeted lies immediately, and when the ads are false, give back the money and don’t publish them,” he added.

Shortly thereafter, when The Guardian reported how Trump used political ads on Facebook, Cohen said that history will judge Mark Zuckerberg “harshly.”

“Terrifying. 218,000 political ads on Facebook—many with lies and hate – seen by voters perhaps 1.3 BILLION times. And Facebook profits/ #Mark Zuckerberg, history will judge you harshly – if we still have historians after you help destroy democracy!” he said.