Early this morning, Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as General Aladeen, The Dictator from the great Republic of Wadiya, to address his ban from Sunday's 84th Academy Awards Telecast. Now, it seem, this was all just a ruse to promote the May comedy.
According to producer Brian Grazer and Academy president Tom Sherak (who also happens to be a paid marketing consultant for Paramount Pictures, the studio behind The Dictator), Sacha Baron Cohen will be attending and is part of the show.
The plan is for Sacha Baron Cohen to hit the red carpet in full General Aladeen drag, but upon entering the Kodak Theatre, he will don a tuxedo and attend the Oscars as himself in honor of his Best Picture nominated film Hugo.
Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as General Aladeen, sent out the following victory pic and statement.
"VICTORY IS OURS! Today the Mighty Nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes of Hollywood. Evil and all those who made Satan their protector were vanquished and driven into the Pacific Sea. What I am trying to say here is that the Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! TODAY OSCAR, TOMORROW OBAMA!"
The Dictator ban appears to have been a promotional stunt, though it is unclear how or if it has worked in the film's favor.