Sarah Palin didn’t have to worry about appearing on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” after all.
Baron Cohen’s Showtime show featured the comedian playing a variety of characters who interviewed unwitting real people, frequently political figures — and often got them to say and do some pretty stupid things. The final episode of “Who Is America?” Season 1 included segments featuring former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and O. J. Simpson, but the season concluded without airing a much-anticipated segment shot with the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate.
The Alaska Republican and former running mate of John McCain said last month she had been “duped” by Baron Cohen and claimed that the British comedian had disguised himself as a disabled veteran to interview her for his Showtime series.
Palin said in a Facebook post that she was sent a request for a “legit opportunity” to honor American veterans and contribute to a “legit Showtime historical documentary.”
Palin and her daughter traveled across the country to be interviewed by Baron Cohen, Palin guessed, and said the comic had “heavily disguised himself as a disabled U.S. Veteran, fake wheelchair and all.” She added she eventually realized it was a farce and walked off the interview.
“The disrespect of our US military and middle-class Americans via [Baron] Cohen’s foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse,” she wrote.
Throughout the series, Baron Cohen interviewed various people as several characters, including Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., a right-wing pundit and Trump supporter who is always seen sitting on a motorized scooter.
In the first episode of the series, during an interview with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Baron Cohen as Ruddick explained that he used the scooter to conserve his body’s “finite energy.”
The in-character Twitter account for Ruddick responded to Palin a few days after her post, releasing a typed statement from his website “Truthbary.org” that said Ruddick never claimed he was a veteran or disabled.
“I did NOT say I was a War Vet,” the statement on Twitter read. “I was in the service — not military, but United Parcel, and I only fought for my country once — when I shot a Mexican who came onto my property,” he added, further explaining that, “(Coincidentaly [sic], just like our Great President, I was sadly prevented from joining the regular army on account of bone spurs bein [sic] discovered in my testies).”
Apparently, Palin didn’t have to worry about her interaction getting aired after all.
Showtime programming president Gary Levine said last month at the Television Critics Association summer pres tour that some of the celebrities and politicians who had spoken out about being “duped” by Baron Cohen needn’t worry because not all of the footage shot for the show would make it to air.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Wrap