Academy Asks Sacha Baron Cohen Not to Attend Oscars as the Dictator

Sacha Baron Cohen as The Dictator


updated 02/23/2012 AT 10:40 AM ET

originally published 02/23/2012 AT 11:30 AM ET

It would be quite a sight – Sacha Baron Cohen arriving on the red carpet at Sunday’s Academy Awards as his outlandish and cruel character from his upcoming comedy The Dictator.

Except the Academy wants nothing to do with it.

A rep for the Oscars tells the New York Post that Cohen, 40, is still invited to the show, but only if he leaves the military garb and fake beard at home.

“We have expressed that we don’t feel it’s appropriate to use our Oscar red carpet as a venue for a movie promotional stunt,” the rep says.

Asked what would happen if Cohen agrees, and then comes as the Dictator anyway, the rep replied: “We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to that.”

Cohen, who is a voting member of the Academy and one of the voices in the Best Picture-nominated Hugo, has not publicly commented on the Academy’s demands.

What do you think?

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The 84th Academy Awards will air live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.


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