Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How did Louisiana escape Borat?

If you watched the map in "Borat" closely, you know Louisiana barely escaped being the butt of Sacha Baron Cohen's make-glorious-fools-for-humor jokes. I'll bet he filmed a scene or two in the Pelican State. Know anybody who spotted a bear in the back of an ice cream truck during summer 2005? Tell me. I don't want to wait for the DVD's deleted scenes.

A Mississippi TV station got hammered in the mockumentary. If you didn't catch the following AP article, it's worth the read. Below is an excerpt:

'Borat' duped TV producer (click for full article)


JACKSON - The antics of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as his alter-ego Borat aren't funny to a former Jackson television producer who says she was duped into giving Cohen air time.

Former WAPT-TV Channel 16 morning-show producer Dharma Arthur claims Cohen's live interview led her life into a downward spiral. Arthur said she won't sue the filmmakers or Cohen, but merely wants an apology. ...

Arthur, 35, said she was contacted by a publicist claiming to sponsor a reporter from Kazakhstan who was working for Bulgarian television and traveling across the United States to get a look at life in American behind the propaganda. ...

On the premise it was a documentary to be aired in Bulgaria, Arthur and others at the station signed a release allowing Borat's crew to use their images.

During the 6 a.m. show, WAPT anchorman Brad McMullan started to interview Borat, and Arthur says the character "went nuts." Borat opened the segment by saying he had to go "urine" and then offered to share his sister with the newsman, Arthur said. The station tried to cut to commercial but had technical problems, Arthur said. Eventually a commercial break was taken and an intern escorted Borat to the door.

"She had him right out of the studio and he went back in," Arthur said.

Borat went back onto the set and hugged weatherman Ken Johnson during the morning forecast. Arthur then personally removed Borat from the set, but the damage was already done.

"It happened. Our people handled the situation extremely well and now we're in the film," Barkley said.

Though Arthur stayed with the station through Hurricane Katrina a few weeks later, she left in March.

"This guy is causing harm and that is not funny," she said.

Click here for the full article, which includes a hilarious bit about a dinner-gone-seriously-unglorious in Natchez.

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