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Borat Booted from Oscars for Fear of Offending James Cameron

Sacha Baron Cohen, the shapeshifting comedic provocateur behind Borat, Ali G, and Brüno, has been totally cut from the Oscar telecast because producers were afraid his skit might bother James Cameron, Vulture reports.

Cohen’s skit was to have featured him painted blue, dressed as a female Na’vi, and would conclude with him accusing Cameron of fathering his alien love child. The fear was that Cameron might be so offended, he’d walk out of the Oscars:

Vulture reports:

An insider familiar with the Oscar telecast tells Vulture that an Avatar sketch planned by Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller was nixed yesterday by show producer Bill Mechanic, who worried that Cameron would be so offended by it that he might even walk out of the Oscar broadcast on live TV.

So what skit could possibly so incense the HMFIC?

Our insider informs us that Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na’vi, with Stiller translating “her” interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn’t translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open “her” evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron’s love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer.

Given that chief Oscar producer Adam Shankman has said that Sacha Baron Cohen was his first pick to host the Oscars, his getting cut out entirely is quite a blow. Shankman previously said that “The Academy swatted [Cohen’s Oscar hosting slot] down,” because “they thought it was too big of a wild card,” and it sounds like history is repeating itself. Not very nice.

James Cameron has since claimed that he would have been OK with the skit, but Oscar producer Bill Mechanic says it would have been “a little too MTV for everyone,” so: likely no chance of its coming back. 

Read more: James Cameron Okays Avatar Oscar Skit, Claims to Have Sense of Humor — Vulture

Read Vulture’s scoop for the full, eggshell-walking course of events.

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