Sacha Baron Cohen pens op-ed on the dangers of conspiracy theories
© Sacha Baron Cohen at the Emmys in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2019. (Getty)

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen says conspiracy theories "threaten to kill democracy as we know it" in an opinion piece for Time magazine published Thursday.

“A year ago, I spoke out publicly for the first time in my own voice because I feared that our pluralistic democracies were at risk of being destroyed by a flood of hate, lies and conspiracies spewed by demagogues and spread by social media,” the "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" star wrote. “Since then, this toxic brew has exploded into the open and — with just weeks until the election — these conspiracies threaten to kill democracy as we know it.”

The comedian, known for his over-the-top roles and stunts, launched himself deeper into the political arena with his 2018 mockumentary “Who Is America?” in which he interviewed various lawmakers while posing as a Kazakh reporter who was making a film about the U.S.


The show managed to dupe multiple politicos, including former Illinois Rep. Joe WalshJoe WalshJoe Walsh says radio show canceled due to Trump criticism The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? GOP lawmakers mourn death of Rush Limbaugh MORE (R), whom Baron Cohen tricked into voicing approval for a fake program that would arm toddlers with weapons in the name of school safety.

Baron Cohen stands by his approach, stating in his piece: “Yes, a lot of my comedy is uncomfortably pubescent. But when it works, satire can humble the powerful and expose the ills of society.”

Those ills, he writes, now stem from “Donald Trump — who averages 23 lies a day and is the world’s greatest superspreader of coronavirus conspiracies." Baron Cohen also faulted President Trump's “dutiful ally in Facebook — the greatest propaganda machine in history” and the resulting “whirlwind of conspiratorial madness.”

Baron Cohen calls out Facebook multiple times throughout the op-ed, claiming the failure to remove posts that push out misleading information has resulted in the social media site becoming a “platform to white supremacists and Holocaust deniers.”

A Facebook spokesperson told The Hill: “We enforce our rules against anyone, including politicians, who try to use our platform to suppress voting or spread harmful misinformation about COVID-19. We've removed posts from President Trump making harmful claims about COVID-19 -- including one this week equating the virus with the flu -- and we've applied many labels to his posts on voting noting that vote-by-mail is a trustworthy method."


The actor issued a call to action ahead of Nov. 3, encouraging voters to “choose truth over lies.”

The op-ed comes just two days after Facebook announced it was ramping up its ban on content related to QAnon, the massive conspiracy theory that has spread worldwide during Trump's time in office.

Updated at 3:02 p.m.