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Borat Lawsuit

High Five!!!

11/9/2006 9:26 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

How's this for the beginning of a lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles County Superior Court? -- "Sacha Baron Cohen is a prankster."

Click to view documents
Two anonymous plaintiffs are suing 20th Century Fox and One America Productions, claiming members of their college fraternity were interviewed to become part of the smash "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" film.

The plaintiffs -- listed as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 -- were allegedly assured the film would not be shown in the U.S. and their identities would not be revealed.

They were both selected to appear in the movie and, according to the suit, taken "to a drinking establishment 'to loosen up' and provided alcoholic beverages." They claim they signed the movie releases after "heavy drinking."

The suit claims both men were then taken to a motor home where they were filmed, all the while "encouraged to continue drinking."

The movie features a scene in a motor home where Cohen gets drunk with three frat boys who go on a racist rant about how they wished they had slaves and how minorities in the United States "have all the power."

According to the lawsuit, the frat boys only received $200 for the controversial appearance.

The plaintiffs claim they suffered "humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, goodwill and standing in the community..." because the movie was indeed released in the U.S.

The suit asks for unspecified damages.

Calls to 20th Century Fox were not immediately returned.

218 COMMENTS

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181.

Borat    

RE: 34.”You'll find that Jews have been making fun of (other) people for personal gain for the last 100 years; this is just more of that. Look at the Cohen brother’s movies, Fargo, Raising Arizona, etc; everyone else is an idiot except of course the Jew.”
Nov 9th 2006 by Jo Neumann

Hey, Jo Neumann AKA Mel Gibson.
It’s obvious to everyone reading the board that you haven’t even seen the film. If you had, I’m hoping you would have realized that Jews are targeted in the majority of jokes and scenes in the movie.
Take your foot out of your mouth so you can eat a big slice of crow pie, Mel.
What path of ignorance and idiocy led you to convince yourself that you are “qualified” to discuss something you know nothing about?

2811 days ago
182.

Lara    

If they win the suit at least they can get what they really want, buy slaves and have power over all the minorities.

What a bunch of morons.

2811 days ago
183.

MikeP    

I don't see anything funny about this over acted, over stereo typed Sacha Baron Cohen whose basic act is making fun of mentally retarded people. How could anyone pay money to see anything made by this guy? I think human rights groups, the mentally handicapped and the ACLU should go after him. I'd rather watch light bulbs burn out or count the pixels on a monitor than see or hear him. Wish I could see video of the guy punching him in the face. That's the least everyone should get for having to put up with his promos on TV. With his non-talent and obnoxiousness, he'd make a good poster for birth control. UGH! Gross! Won't be getting any of my money. Another piece of proof that it only takes connections to get promoted.

2811 days ago
184.

Jessica    

The flaws of this country SHOULD be pointed out. People as stupid as that retarded Texas republican and those horrible immature frat boys have every right to be pointed out and laughed out. How else are they going to realize the error of their ways? This is a good thing for them. The jerks knew they did something wrong- what they said, how they acted- and so they're going to sue someone because the alcohol brought out the worst in them? Alcohol or no alcohol, those sentiments exist and whether or not they were manipulated into showing it- which I'm sure they've done before anyway- they should be ashamed. The fact that they are trying to sue even goes further to show that they knowingly have these horrible sentiments and think that there's something wrong with THOSE being exposed?? They think it was wrong of Borat to expose that, but there's nothing wrong with making those horrific remarks about women and minorities? Let's see... I wonder what could possibly be the bigger crime. Idiots exposed for who they are, or growing up in America and still being so stupid as to believe all that garbage they said about women and minorities. I'm going to say the latter. Those dickheads deserve that horrible publicity.

2810 days ago
185.

Jessica    

And please might I add that NONE of this publicity for the idiots has anything to do with knowing or not knowing what a fraternity is about. The fraternity didn't necessarily bring about these terrible misunderstandings the boys had- the society and culture in which they grew up in did. And by society, I am not covering all of 'American' society- I am using it to cover their daily environment i.e. school, family, friends, area of town, etc. These vary from all over the country, and are not specific or general to the country in its entirety. I am in a sorority, and I know what brotherhood/sisterhood/greek life is about, and it is in no way relevant (necessarily, anyway) to this horrific behavior. If you're going to make an argument, make it specific to the people, not their college or fraternity. Seeing as how we do not know the background of the rest of the greek organization, these sentiments may only be native to these losers. And it was only two of the three, the one seemed to stay neutral on that topic.

2810 days ago
186.

Jason    

When I was in college (Penn State), a couple frats tried to get my friends and I to join. There were a few places where we had friends where we'd go regularly for parties--most of the time I preferred apartment parties by you sort of learned that different fraternities were different.

Triangle, the engineer's frat, always had good beer and live music. The business frat had hard liquor only and lots of it. Another frat we went to regularly always had a good dj who happened to be a friend of mine and so we would go there. Another one we went to occasionally for a while had guys who were alright, most of them kind of lame individually, but nice enough, and they liked to drink good beer. Still, much like most frathouses--or any house populated solely by guys--the place was filthy, and had been for several decades. At least with apartments, the security deposit required them to be cleaned out top-to-bottom once a year.

Most of the frats seemed lame--or at least not my thing. For most of them, it wasn't that all frat guys were the same or evil, but that they were still kind of homogenous and boring. It was like a lot of college--like a fake version of real life--and once you realize that, it sort of loses its appeal.

That said, there were always a few guys in a frat who were offensive a**holes, and a few frats that were full of them. We never went there if we could help it. For my friends and I, being white and generally rolling in equal numbers male and female, we could get into pretty much any of these parties and as long as we kept our eyes on each other, everything would be alright, but in a house that size, you still worry a little bit.

Even in a "good frat", there may be a lot of brothers, 30 of whom are good guys, 5 of whom are questionable and 2 of whom are downright creepy. The problem is probably that because they're all around other generally white males all the time, the good ones let their manners and behavior and, yes, personal hygiene slide a little bit, and the really bad ones mutate into dangerous predators.

It's easy when you're not around the people you're insulting to get in the habit of it. In high school I would regularly say "that's so gay" and it wasn't until I had friends whose feelings were hurt by that that I realized it's just unnecessary. Ideally, part of college, and adulthood, is confronting the parts of society you didn't grow up around, so you can face your prejudices and misconceptions, and realize how ignorant some of the people you grew up with are and how personally important it is for some people that you think for yourself and question your stereotypes.

So it's not that fraternities are evil or that all brothers are ignorant. They may not be places where drug abuse or rape occurs more often. But frats are places where ignorance goes unchallenged, where bad ideas go out of proportion and where there's a strong incentive to cover for each other when someone does something wrong.

Some people don't like Sacha Baron Cohen because he makes Americans look like idiots. Some don't like him simply because he's Jewish (and they're idiots, apparently). Some people don't like him because he misleads people into going on film.

News flash: some Americans ARE idiots. Covering that up doesn't make it less true. Maybe if people were publicly humiliated more often for holding ridiculous and harmful beliefs, they'd be a little more critical and introspective. People in every country are racist, but that's besides the point. If someone called you an a**hole, would your response be, "yeah, so, that guy over there, he's an a**hole too"? Maybe it would, but I'd rather say "maybe i am but i'm working on it. Can you say the same for yourself?"

Whether Cohen misled them or not misses the point. The more important thing is that they realize finally that thinking women should be slaves should make them unmarriageable. Certainly now I can entreat my friends and family to keep their distance.

2810 days ago
187.

Mr. Spiffy    

Boo freakin hoo. If you are so amazingly stupid not to realize when you are being duped then take your 200 and spend it on tutoring.
The frat boys are exhibit A on why the US system of higher ed is considered so piss weak.

2810 days ago
188.

snyggast    

68. James Taylor: "Considering the poor grammar and spelling, I doubt that many of the posters here ever attended college. " Hey, smarty pants? Hearsay is one word. Pot meet kettle.

LOL James Taylor. He probably got accepted because daddy paid or went to the same college. Legacy kids. Yeah you don't have to know shi* either.

Sascha at least showed the true color of these **cks!

2810 days ago
189.

snyggast    

I'd like to get #157 drunk and listen what she has to say about getting it with a black or latino guy. LOL

2810 days ago
190.

Mark    

The interesting thing about alcohol is that it only enhances the ability to say things that the person truly believes, even when sober. The idea that a couple of frat boys now want to bring a lawsuit probably stems from the fact they were humiliated and chastised by their peers. Here's a little tip for ya fellas. It's not the movie that made you look like imbeciles. It's the fact that you're hormonally charged, alcohol-induced young males that makes you look and act like an imbecile. Maybe you should sue the alcohol distributors for making you look idiotic?

2810 days ago
191.

Michael    

Borat is easily one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Sacha Baron Cohen is a genius.

As an entertainment professional, I can assure you there’s no legal way the images could have been released on film if the people in them hadn’t signed releases. Their state of soberness should have no bearing in the matter. If you kill someone while you’re drunk, you still go to jail for murder. As far as defamation of character; nothing they said or did was scripted. I know the footage can be spun to make them seem to be what they’re not, but it was still none the less real, and people that are that repulsive when they’re drunk couldn’t be far from it sober. If you’re not sure what the footage is for, perhaps you shouldn’t agree to be filmed.

It sucks to have money made off of your image, and not be getting any of it. It happens to non-union professional actors all the time. That’s why you make sure the contract you sign says you get paid for things like that. Pity they didn’t think about that. It’s a shame, but it’s not illegal.

The only people that have any right to be offended by this film are the people of Kazakhstan. If you’re not Kazakhi, and this movie pisses you off, please get over yourself.

The last thing I have to say is, You not gonna get this! You not gonna get this! But one day, he broke cage and he got that... high five!

2810 days ago
192.

arch    

People never want to be accountable for their actions. The frat boys had some drinks and signed a release form but the form didn't put words in their mouths. Alcohol has yet to get people to say and do things that they don't already want to. I have never gotten drunk and said " I love brussel sprouts" because I don't. But I have said a host of other things that I wished I had not only because they were embarrasing but true. Alcohol lowers your ability to rationalize the consequences. These guys truely feel that "minorities have all the power" and they want slaves, trust me. I'm glad the producers got them drunk and exposed them for who they are.

2810 days ago
193.

Stephanie    

I think that this all depends on the evidence of the contract they signed. If they were told that it would not be shown in the United States then they have every right to file a lawsuit! Even if they did act like dumb frat boys!!!! The law is the law and If they did not give promission then they should get paid! As far as the underage drinking goes who ever was giving the underage drinker drinks should be charged accordingly!

My advice to all you frat boys out there.... If you are going to make fools out of yourself NEVER do it on camera!!!!!! Come on!

2810 days ago
194.

cop killer    

F**K Borat and everybody In it

2810 days ago
195.

Jami    

Those of you throwing crap around about frats have limited knowledge! Not all frats are party houses. What you are doing is called "STEREOTYPING" and could easily be considered prejudice!!! Watch what you say "Rizzo", "angry little asian girl", and those who agree with them!! You all sound like huge bigots to the rest of us! And how the hell do you all know what happened unless you were there?? Do you see things in a crystal ball, are you mental?

2810 days ago
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