Sacha Baron Cohen's second outing as the eccentric resident of Kazakhstan in Borat 2 is making headlines every other day. Whether it's because of the delightfully unhinged performance of Maria Bakalova or its controversial conclusion, the film is making all the right noises save for one eye-brow raising admission. The friendly babysitter who helped Tutar realize her father's misogyny feels "betrayed" by Borat 2 filmmakers.
One of the many reasons that Borat and now Borat 2 succeeded is because of the lengths to which Sacha Baron Cohen and the rest of the team were ready to go to make the general public a part of its plot. While the second instalment is being criticized for resorting to obviously planned meetings with all the shopkeepers we see in the film, Borat and Tutor's interaction with Jeanise Jones, 62, a professional babysitter is the most genuine and authentic.
Jones babysits Borat's 15-year-old daughter while he goes out to earn the money for Tutor's breast implants to turn her into a "pretty woman" and then gift her to the U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence. While he is out there picking odd jobs to collect the cash, Jones actually bonds with his daughter and is shocked to discover her warped definition of what being a woman means. She points out that Borat is a sexist man and Tutar doesn't need plastic surgery to get married. It's because of her that Tutor finally realizes that she isn't an object to be possessed and has the freedom to every right out there.
But obviously, it was all a setup. While Bakalova, Cohen, and the filmmakers were aware of it, Jones was led to believe that she was starring in a documentary about female rights. She had no idea that Borat was just a character and is Sacha Baron Cohen in disguise. For Jones, Borat planning to give away his daughter to win favors from his country's government was all real
"I'm feeling like she's from the Third World and that kind of stuff does happen where they sell women. I'm thinking this is for real so I felt kind of betrayed by it."
In a chat with the New York Post, Jones shared that the filmmakers never divulged that she was starring in a satirical film and confessed that she is disappointed that they hide the truth. Jones was recruited from Ebenezer Baptist Church situated in Oklahoma City after the production approached the church's pastor, Derrick Scobey and expressed that they needed a "sassy" black grandmother in her 70s to be a part of their documentary.
Of the many congregants the production interacted with, they picked Jones. For her participation, she was paid around $3,600 and was informed that the documentary would release overseas in November 2020. She was made to believe that Tutar was a real-life individual who is 15-year-old and is being misguided about her rights.
"They told me it was a documentary for this young lady to understand she has rights and she can do whatever a man can do. I felt pain for her and tried [to see] if there's any way we can get through to her that she doesn't need to do all that."
As Jones had no inkling that it was all a set-up, she was genuinely worried about "Tutar" after she was done filming her scenes in Oklahoma and Washington state. She and other congregants at her church even prayed for her well-being and hoped that she was safe.
"We were concerned," Jones said. "We were up there praying for her and asking God to help her and we were doing what we thought was the Christian thing to do."
Jones was shocked when she came to know the truth after her cousin showed her the trailer for the Amazon Prime movie. While Jones is just dismayed by the duplicity, her pastor wants Baron Cohen to apologize to her as well as pay her the compensation she deserves for being the "moral compass" of the film.
"I would love to see him, if nothing else, on a Zoom call in a very lighthearted manner, 'We're sorry we pulled one over on you,' " Scobey said. He has even set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jones. "It's just saying she got the short end of the stick, you love her around the world, so it would be a blessing if you donated."
The producers of Borat 2 and Cohen have yet to react to the claims, so it's left to be seen whether an apology and/or a better compensation for Jones is in the pipeline or not. This comes to us courtesy of New York Post.