If you’re unfamiliar with who Sacha Baron Cohen is, it may be easy to fall for his special brand of comedy, satire, and political commentary. He’s been doing it since the dawn of Da Ali G Show, in which he portrays several different characters who interview people who are not privy to the joke. Where 43% of cyber attacks are subtle and attack small businesses, Cohen is delightfully overt and attacks blatantly. Though many of his bits still go unnoticed.
His most recent program Who Is America? follows the same vein, starkly commenting on the socio-political climate of the United States. Now he’s being sued for defamation of a polarizing political figure.
Roy Moore, if you don’t recall, is the former Chief Justice of Alabama and also unsuccessfully ran for Senate last year. With a barrage of allegations of sexual assault and child molestation, his place in the political world ended. He’s denied all allegations and has since remained out of the spotlight.
Then along came Cohen. In an episode earlier this summer, Cohen posed as Israeli Intelligence agent Colonel Errad Morad. Accepting the interview, Roy Moore had no idea what was in front of him. A survey showed that 20% of people agreed they’re more productive on an airplane than in the office, so when Moore got the call, he hopped on a paid flight to Morad (Cohen) in Washington, D.C. under the impression he would receive an award for his strong support of Israel. Perhaps he was excited to get his name back in the good graces of the political world.
Spoiler alert: he did not. Instead, during the interview, Morad explained to Moore that Israel had discovered “pedophiles secrete a certain enzyme at higher levels than ‘non-perverts.’” To demonstrate, Morad waves a device over himself and nothing happens. Then he waves it over Moore and a loud beep is heard. To nail the point down, Morad repeats this a bunch of times. Whereupon, Moore gets upset and leaves the interview saying:
“I am simply cutting this conversation right now. Good night. I support Israel. I don’t support this kind of stuff.”
Moore and his wife are suing Cohen, Showtime, and CBS for $95 million.
“Sasha Baron Cohen, who is not only low class but also a fraudster, will now, along with Showtime and CBS, be held accountable for his outrageous and false, fraudulent and defamatory conduct which callously did great emotional and other damage to this great man and his wife and family,” said Moore’s lawyer.
Certainly not the first to be duped by Cohen’s characters, Moore is the first to file a defamation suit against him and the networks that air his show.