Who to watch for in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming show
The list of Republican figures who say they were likely tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen into appearing on the British comedian’s new Showtime show is growing by the day, all in the lead-up to the show’s premiere.
Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Alabama GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore are just some of the notable people who have claimed publicly that they were likely duped by Cohen, who appeared in disguise during the interviews for the project, titled “Who is America?”
While some like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), have laughed off the interactions, Moore has threatened legal action against Cohen and Showtime over the interviews.
Showtime has said the seven-episode series will “explore the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate our unique nation.”
“Who is America?” is set to premiere on Showtime on Sunday. Cohen has already teased an interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney ahead of the show’s debut.
Here are some of the familiar faces to watch for on Cohen’s show.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney
Cheney was the first prominent Republican revealed to be featured on the show. He was included in a trailer, signing a “waterboard kit.”
“That’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard,” Cheney says in the clip.
The former vice president was highly critical of the Obama administration after leaving office. He has remained relatively quiet about President Trump.
The former vice presidential candidate said Cohen pretended to be a wounded veteran during her interview with the actor.
Palin said she traveled to Washington, D.C., for the interview with Cohen, who “had heavily disguised himself as a disabled US Veteran, fake wheelchair and all.”
“Out of respect for what I was led to believe would be a thoughtful discussion with someone who had served in uniform, I sat through a long ‘interview’ full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm — but finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen’s chagrin,” Palin said.
Palin is calling for Cohen to donate all of the profits from the series to military veterans’ groups.
The former GOP Senate candidate says he was tricked into an interview with Cohen with an invitation to receive an award for his “strong support of Israel.”
“I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate, and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Dick Cheney,” Moore said in a statement.
Moore, who lost the Alabama Senate special election to Sen. Doug Jones (D) after facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with young women, is threatening legal action over the interview.
“If Showtime airs a defamatory attack on my character, I may very well be involved in another,” Moore said in a statement. “As for Mr. Cohen, whose art is trickery, deception, and dishonesty, Alabama does not respect cowards who exhibit such traits! It’s been a long time since I fought for my country in Vietnam. I’m ready to defend her again!”
Arpaio says that he gave an interview to Cohen in October 2017, and that the actor was disguised as a Finnish comedian during the interaction.
The former Arizona sheriff, whom Trump pardoned last year, told Breitbart News that he was “uncomfortable” for parts of the interview, but that he “had to live through it.” He said Cohen used language like “golden shower” during the interview.
“I am not the type of guy who gets up and walks out,” Arpaio said of his experience with Cohen. “I never walked out in thousands of interviews. I just take it.”
The freshman GOP lawmaker had a more light-hearted reaction to his supposed sit-down with Cohen.
A self-described fan of the “Ali G” actor, Gaetz told the Daily Beast that he remembers giving an interview on Israel and “I now believe that was Sacha Baron Cohen.”
Gaetz said that a man held up images of weapons systems and asked him to comment on them.
“I said, I would not do that, of course,” Gaetz said. “I don’t know these weapons systems, I’m not going to talk about them.”
However, Gaetz said that he’s a big fan of Cohen and that he “can’t wait” to see the show.
Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.) has also revealed that he was “duped” by Cohen, and called for people to “#BoycottShowtime” over Cohen’s program.
Walsh tweeted that he was “invited to a pro-Israel dinner that honored defenders of Israel” and was told he needed to film an interview to be aired at the event.
“I sat down and we started talking pro-Israel stuff, Israeli defense, and then out of left field the interviewer starts talking about how children should defend themselves against terrorist attacks,” the former lawmaker tweeted.
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