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Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America' Pushes Back

(YouTube/Showtime)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 July 2018 01:04 PM

Sacha Baron Cohen has been duping celebrity politicians left and right for his comedy show "Who Is America?" using several disguises, including Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., PhD, who somehow comes across as a disabled war veteran and who clearly got under the skin of Sarah Palin and Bernie Sanders.

On Monday, Showtime came to Cohen’s defense and pushed back in Vanity Fair on claims by Sanders and Palin that Cohen/Ruddick actually portrayed himself as a disabled veteran.

"… Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind."

The seven-episode half-hour series, which airs on Showtime at Sunday 9 p.m. Eastern time, debuted with Cohen/Ruddick interviewing Sanders, the Independent U.S. senator from Vermont who came close to upsetting Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Cohen/Ruddick in the Sanders interview rode a scooter, which is often used by the disabled. Vanity Fair said when Sanders asked Cohen/Ruddick about the scooter and if he had a disability, he responded: "This here scooter is to conserve my body's finite energy."

In the interview, according to The Guardian, Cohen/Ruddick ripped Sanders "as a yokel with a fundamental misunderstanding of what the '1 percent' is.”

Showtime said Cohen played the same character during his interview with the former Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska governor.

While some of Cohen's victims have brushed his antics, Palin went to social media to complain about it, charging that he made her believed he was war veteran with a legitimate issue.

"For my interview, my daughter and I were asked to travel across the country where Cohen (I presume) had heavily disguised himself as a disabled U.S. veteran, fake wheelchair and all," Palin said on Facebook.

"Out of respect for what I was led to believe would be a thoughtful discussion with someone who had served in uniform, I sat through a long 'interview' full of Hollywoodism's disrespect and sarcasm – but finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen's chagrin. The disrespect of our U.S. military and middle-class Americans via Cohen's foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse," Palin said.

Cohen has made a career of disguised characters, earning six Emmy nominations for the "Da Ali G Show" HBO series and feature film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," in which he played a fictitious Kazakhstani news reporter, according to Showtime.

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Sacha Baron Cohen has been duping politicians for his comedy show "Who Is America?" using disguises, including Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., PhD, who somehow comes across as a disabled war veteran and who clearly got under the skin of Sarah Palin and Bernie Sanders.
sacha baron cohen, who is america
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2018-04-17
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 01:04 PM
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