Oscars: Is Sacha Baron Cohen banned or not? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: So is he banned or isn’t he?

We’re still trying to figure out if the Academy kicked Sacha Baron Cohen out of the Oscars this coming Sunday because he planned on attending the ceremony in character as “The Dictator,” the lead of his upcoming comedy. Though word quickly circulated that Cohen could not attend the Oscars, an Academy spokesman told THR that the comedian isn’t banned, but they are “waiting to hear what he’s going to do.”

Cohen, of course, has been invited as a member of the “Hugo” cast, as Martin Scorsese’s 3D drama is up for multiple awards including Best Picture. But the spotlight-grabbing exhibitionist put the Academy on high alert with his “Dictator” plans.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate,” the Academy spokesman said. “But his tickets haven’t been pulled. We’re waiting to hear back.”

Truthfully, I think the Oscars needs this kind of spontaneity, especially in the absence of Eddie Murphy as the event’s host. Cohen reportedly wanted to commandeer the red carpet, which is the perfect place for his brand of chicanery. That way, if people weren’t interested in his sideshow, they could hop to E! or log onto Oscars.com to see the fashions of the event and avoid the “Dictator” commercial.

We’ll wait to hear what Cohen has planned, though knowing him, he’ll keep it up his sleeve for as long as physically possible … then probably change his mind three times the day of the show.

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Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
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Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
– Producer Grant Heslov for “The Ides of March.”

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