Nobody can trick unsuspecting Americans quite like Sacha Baron Cohen. And I for one am so glad he is back on the telly.
His latest mockumentary series Who Is America? has proved to be even more explosive than anything from his Ali G or Borat days. And there have been grave consequences for those who have fallen prey to his cast of bizarre characters.
Most notably, Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer was forced to resign after a surreal scene where he screamed racial expletives and chased Cohen around the studio with his bottom exposed.
However, Cohen’s ‘interview’ with former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama Roy Moore could well be his most controversial so far.
Moore had been the Republican nominee for the 2017 US Senate special election in Alabama, and lost significant support following allegations of sexual misconduct by a number of women.
According to The Washington Post, one of the women who came forward was just 14 years old at the time of the alleged assault.
Moore has continued to deny the allegations in question, making the following written statement:
These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.
Anyone who is familiar with Cohen’s comedy will not be too surprised by the direction the interview took.
#WhoIsAmerica had me laughing so hard when @SachaBaronCohen pulled out the pedophile catcher wand on #RoyMoore that I woke up my wife from my shaking! Hilarious and important show! Watch! Watch! Watch!
— MazJobrani (@MazJobrani) July 30, 2018
The interview began with Moore praising the state of Alabama to the character of General Erran Morad, describing the former slave state as having always ‘valued freedom’.
After getting Moore to clarify how equality is part of the ‘heritage’ of Alabama, General Morad moved onto the crux of the meeting; showcasing the latest developments in Israeli technology.
Before introducing the gadget, Morad gave some ‘scientific’ information:
It turns out that the sex offenders and particularly pedophiles secrete an enzyme for DDHT, which is actually detectable, it is three times the level of none perverts. So the phrase ‘sweating like a rapist’ is actually based on science.
In Israel they’ve developed a machine that is used in schools and playgrounds to detect anyone coming in, and if they detect the paedophile, the wand alerts the law enforcement and the schools within a hundred-mile radius.
Pulling the wand in question into view, Morad gave the following instructions while demonstrating it on his own body:
It is very, very simple to use. You just switch it on and, because neither of us are sex offenders, then it makes absolutely nothing.
You just put it on, you put it nearby.
However, the mood changed considerably when Morad waved the contraption over Moore’s torso, where it beeped audibly.
Moore smiled nervously, as Morad explained how there must be a problem. He retried it on himself but no beep was heard. He then swiped it across Moore once again, triggering further beeping.
— Payman Benz (@PaymanBenz) July 30, 2018
Adopting a puzzled air, Morad/Cohen slapped the gizmo against his hand and insisted there must be some sort of malfunction.
However, when Morad waved the wand across another man, there was still no beep and the mood turned ‘serious.’
Observing Moore gravely, Morad enquired whether the jacket he was wearing was indeed his own, and whether he had leant it to anybody else.
At this point, Moore appeared indignant, stating:
I’ve been married for 33 [years] and never had an accusation of such things.
Roy Moore claimed he's never been accused of pedophilia …um.. is he delusional or does have memory issues? #WhoIsAmerica
— BNB???️?? (@idreamofsully) July 30, 2018
After expressing doubts about how developed the technology was and expressing his support for Israel, Moore walked out. And Twitter exploded.
One person tweeted:
Roy Moore’s face when Sacha Baron Cohen whipped out the pedophile detector? Priceless!
..honestly… @SachaBaronCohen how do you do these interviews with a straight face!!? That Roy Moore bit was hysterical.
…honestly… @SachaBaronCohen how do you do these interviews with a straight face!!? That Roy Moore bit was hysterical ???
— James Martin (@jmarmusicuk) July 30, 2018
Roy Moore seriously didn't realize he was being set up the moment he heard the gadget can detect sex offenders? He's really stupid.
— tykobrian (@tykobrian) July 30, 2018
Roy Moore's face when Sacha Baron Cohen whipped out the pedophile detector? Priceless! #SachaBaronCohen #
— Hazy pride (@TheANGRYcarpet) July 30, 2018
Who is America episode three savages Roy Moore in a beautiful way.
— Sifu Alex Richter 韋陀 (@CityWingTsun) July 30, 2018
Who will Sacha Baron Cohen be deceiving next?
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). They also offer a victim support line on 0808 168 9111.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on its website or on its helpline – 0808 800 5005.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.