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Terrorists Threaten Sacha Baron Cohen

Over a scene in ‘Brüno’

by
Marc Tracy
July 28, 2009
Sacha Baron Cohen, center, at the Australian premiere of Brüno(Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)
Sacha Baron Cohen, center, at the Australian premiere of Brüno(Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)

A scene in Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie Brüno has landed the British-Jewish performer in hot water with the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the pro-Palestinian terrorist group. In the scene, the title character—a gay Austrian fashion maven, played by Cohen, who goes around interviewing unwitting interlocutors—asks a man identified as the Brigades’ leader to kidnap him, because “al-Qaeda is so 2001.” Brüno then tells the man, Ayman Abu Aita, “Your king Osama looks like a kind of dirty wizard or homeless Santa.” The Brigades announced in a statement that they were “very upset,” and that, er, “We reserve the right to respond in the way we find suitable against this man.” (Cohen has beefed up his personal security detail in response.) For our own part, we can’t understand why the Brigades are acting so un-fabulously. Also, didn’t they see Cohen’s previous movie, Borat? If they had, they would have known better than to trust Cohen—who is, after all, a Jew—in the first place.

To watch the scene, fast-forward to the 1:50 mark:

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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