Sacha Baron Cohen Thanks “All-White” HFPA, Torches Rudy Giuliani In ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ Best Comedy Golden Globe Speech

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Dade Hayes
·3 min read
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Sacha Baron Cohen came out hot at the start of his acceptance speech for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm‘s win at the Golden Globes for Best Comedy or Musical.

“Thank you to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press,” he began, a shot at the group’s lack of any Black members, a fact that has been excoriated in the industry and beyond in recent days. (Watch the full speech above.)

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He also saluted “co-star” Rudy Giuliani, without whom “this film could not have been possible.” The attorney for former president Donald Trump “came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius.” (Giuliani famously put his hands in his pants in a hotel room during a scene with Maria Bakalova, who plays the 15-year-old daughter of Borat. He later said he was adjusting his microphone.)

“Who could get more laughs out of one unzipping?” Baron Cohen marveled. “Incredible. Our movie was just the beginning for him. Rudy went on to star in a string of comedy films, including Four Seasons Landscaping, Hair Dye Another Day and the courtroom drama A Very Public Fart.”

The rest of the remarks by the co-writer and actor were as straightforward and predictable as the win in the category by Amazon Studios and Baron Cohen’s production company, Four by Two Films. He rattled off a list of names, ending with a thank-you and a kiss for his wife, Isla Fisher, who sat next to him during the speech, smiling and occasionally giggling.

The film’s back story was the stuff of legend long before last October’s release. Baron Cohen had effectively retired the character after the 2006 film racked up more than $260 million at the global box office and cemented his stardom. (He also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.)

After the election of Trump and several of his moves in office, Baron Cohen has recalled in interviews, he began talking with his collaborators about a way to revive the Kazakh journalist character. Eventually, they hit upon the plot of the film. The production then managed to gear up and was the first shoot to get under way during Covid-19. Baron Cohen was intent on having the film land before the November 3 election. Among several bidders, Amazon not only made a strong financial offer but also a firm assurance to release it across its global streaming service before Election Day.

Streaming numbers are always hard to come by, but Amazon said “tens of millions” of Prime Video subscribers watched the film during its opening weekend. The film’s scorched-earth treatment of Trumpworld (particularly the Giuliani scene) made the film a cultural moment. Even though he had to adopt disguises, since the grey-suit-and-caterpillar-moustache look of Borat had become too familiar to avoid detection, Baron Cohen pulled off a followup most critics consider a worthy bookend to the original.

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