Last week, a group of 6 Czech tourists got into trouble in real-life Kazakhstan for wearing Borat-style mankinis and they were fined the equivalent of about $67 each for indecency and "minor hooliganism" after wearing the suits in the capital city of Astana. Now, Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay the fines in a post from his Facebook page. Baron Cohen clearly appreciated the stunt, especially since it has gotten so much press over the last week. And let's face it, it's pretty damn funny, as long as you're a fan of the Borat character and his unique brand of satire.
Sacha Baron Cohen took to his official Facebook page to offer to pay the fines for the 6 Czech tourists. Sacha Baron Cohen even had an email address set up for the tourists to get into contact with a representative for him and Borat. The actor had this to say.
"To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I'll pay your fine."
It isn't clear if any of the tourists have taken the actor up on his offer, but it sure is a nice gesture on behalf of Sacha Baron Cohen. Now that the story has gotten so much notoriety, Kazakhstan may have to be on the lookout for some copycats.
Kazakhstan authorities banned Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and threatened to sue Sacha Baron Cohen after its release in 2006. A Kazakh journalist even went so far as to travel to London in an effort to play a prank on the comedic actor, but he was not able to find the comedian and the prank never happened. The country even publicly denounced Sacha Baron Cohen and Borat with the "Heart of Eurasia" campaign, but that was later foiled when Baron Cohen as Borat stood in front of the White House to denounce their denouncement of him.
But as of 2012, Kazakhstan's foreign minister has said he is "grateful" to Borat for "helping attract tourists" to the country. He said 10 times more people were applying for visas to go to Kazakhstan, which is a complete change from 6 years prior where the comedian would probably have been jailed if he stepped foot in the country. Although it was shot in Romania, officials felt the movie portrayed Kazakhstan as a racist, sexist and primitive country, it wasn't until much later that people began to figure out that the movie was satire and that it made fun of America more than anything.
Borat has been in retirement ever since the release of the movie in 2006, but the character is still as popular as ever and the men traveling to Kazakhstan to wear mankinis and Borat wigs in front of the "I Love Astana" sign proves it. Regardless, some people have taken offense to the incident and many still harbor anger and resentment for Sasha Baron Cohen. In other words, Baron Cohen's comedy is still doing exactly what it's supposed to do, over a decade after its release. You can check out the offer to pay the mankini fines via Sasha Baron Cohen's Facebook page below.