Sacha Baron Cohen is known for his inventive promotional stunts, but his latest appears to have proven too contentious to continue.
Under the guise of one of his newest characters, "anti-terrorist expert" Colonel Erran Morad, Cohen listed a "waterboard kit" signed by former Vice President Dick Cheney on eBay. However, in the early hours of Monday morning, the auction link appears to have been taken offline.
Cheney, who has denied that waterboarding is torture, despite it being illegalised during the Vietnam War, was filmed signing the plastic bottle while being interviewed by Cohen disguised as Morad. The resulting footage was used as a trailer for his new series, Who is America?
He got Dick Cheney to sign a waterboard kit. Up on Ebay for charity now. pic.twitter.com/kF9nEubIbD— JJ (@jjinmi) July 23, 2018
On Sunday, it was reported that Morad had listed the item for sale on eBay, with profits going to Amnesty International, ahead of the Cheney episode airing in the US. The character shared a post on his Twitter profile:
Bids were gathering momentum by Monday morning, with reports written at 2am British Summer Time stating that the item had won 63 bids and a current total of $2,551 (£1,941). The listing had gone on sale on Sunday evening (Pacific Time) for $1.
Neither Ebay nor Cohen (as Morad or otherwise) have responded to the missing listing. Who is America? will air its second episode on Channel 4 tonight.