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Petition Launched To Disqualify Borat 2 From Oscars

by : Niamh Shackleton on :
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The Kazakh American Association (KAA) has asked major award shows like the Oscars and the Golden Globes to disqualify Borat 2 from their nominations. 

In an open letter to the president and the CEO of the Motion Picture Academy (Oscars), the association claims Borat 2 promotes ‘whitewashing, ethnic stereotyping, racism, cultural appropriation, and xenophobia’.

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The KAA stated a nomination for the sequel ‘must not happen again in 2020’, following the first movie receiving an Academy Award nomination, among others.

Borat20th Century Fox

Part of the letter, dated November 16, reads:

The Kazakh community worldwide is underrepresented and inherently vulnerable. Our nation is still recovering from an oppressive colonial past, which is why we do not have substantial media representation. Sacha Baron Cohen understands this fact and exploits Kazakhstan by hijacking our ethnic identity, whitewashing us by portraying us as Eastern Europeans, and inciting harassment toward Kazakh people worldwide.

Our people report countless cases of sexual and physical harassment as well as bullying due to the Borat franchise.

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The letter continues, ‘Considering today’s socially aware political climate and the new policies adopted by the Academy, it is unbelievable that a racist film which openly berates, bullies, and traumatizes a nation of people of color is an acceptable form of entertainment’.

Describing Borat creator and actor Sacha Baron Cohen as ‘a wealthy white man’, the KAA points out that Cohen created a fake country for his movie The Dictator, and asks why he didn’t do that for Borat.

Kazakh Organisation Asks Major Award Shows To Disqualify Borat SequelPA

The letter also blames Cohen for making his character Borat Sagdiyev a ‘highly stereotypical and extremely offensive fictional character who relies on the Western audience having very little familiarity with Kazakhstan’.

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Further chastising Cohen for the film, the letter continues:

Mr. Cohen went beyond any moral or ethical standards in portraying Kazakh people as misogynistic, incestuous, anti-Semitic, and barbarous. Due to this harmful misrepresentation, more Kazakhs today will face public racial abuse, bullying, humiliation, and dehumanization.

We understand that the nature of comedy is to break taboos and test the limits of what is acceptable, but at whose expense? Ethnic Kazakhs are relatively unknown, so we pose an easy target for racism. This should not be justified as being “just a comedy,” especially not when we have witnessed firsthand the toll that racism takes on people’s lives.

Following this, the KAA wrote that it believes that if Cohen was to present a Chinese, Black or Jewish character this way that there would have been ‘international uproar’.

Borat 2Amazon Studios
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The association finished the letter asking the Oscars to not nominate Borat 2 for any awards and for them to ‘do the right thing’.

While this letter in particular is addressed to the CEO of the Oscars, the KAA have also written to the Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America Awards and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTAs), Variety reports.

The film is yet to receive any official nominations, but many think Cohen could be in the running for his first Oscar for his performance.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Film and TV, Borat, Borat 2, Oscars, Sacha Baron Cohen

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Variety
  1. Variety

    Kazakh Organization Asks Award Shows to Disqualify ‘Borat’ Sequel