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Did Borat Producers Screw Over Suckers?

11/14/2006 5:28 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Harvey Levin's Z Spin

Borat is in the ZSpinThere's a debate raging in Hollywood over the making of the "Borat" movie and whether producers deceived the people who appeared in the film. Well, if there was deceit, it could cost FOX plenty, but it's peanuts compared to the money the studio is raking in.

Two frat boys who appeared onscreen in a drunken, racial rant are now suing producers, claiming they were told the movie was a TV documentary authorized by the government of Kazakhstan and that it would never be shown in the U.S. A driving school owner also featured in the film told TMZ exactly the same story.

Here's the deal. If someone lies to you to get you to sign a legal document -- in this case, a release allowing producers to include you in a film -- whatever you subsequently sign may not be legally binding. It's called fraud in the inducement, meaning someone induces you to sign an otherwise binding contract under false pretenses.

TMZ has done some digging, and everyone we've spoken with, who was featured in the film, told us the same tale of woe -- that they were all led to believe their fellow "US and A" citizens would never know what they did on camera.

This could be a fascinating case if it makes it to court. On the one hand, you have producers who could look like greedy, double-dealing schmucks trying to bamboozle ordinary folk. On the other hand, how's a jury gonna feel about two racist frat boys who expected that their prejudices would be a secret protected by the Atlantic Ocean?

FOX has simply said the lawsuit is without merit. Here's the reality: The studio may end up paying off some of the featured "performers." Maybe they'll each get 25 grand. Compare that to a movie that could rake in hundreds of millions of dollars. If that's the cost of doing business, then sign everyone up.

If FOX did the dirty deed, at the end of the day, the message to other studios is clear: Do whatever it takes to make a hit movie, because you'll score big-time in the end.

72 COMMENTS

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1.

Peter in L.A.    

Question: After these frat guys sobered up the next day, did any of them go running to the producers and demand to be removed from the film because they said some stupid things while they were drunk? Did any of them claim they were misled after the shooting? No way. They all let it slide for months while the film was edited. I think it will be pretty hard to convince a court that the legal document (the release) they signed is invalid when they didn't express any regrets, or take any action, until they were suddenly (in)famous.

2890 days ago
2.

Trevor    

Deserved what the got. Yanks acting like themselves, do anything to get on TV, now they want to sue. Typical. How is this different to Springer and Ricki ?

2884 days ago
3.

DR X    

Anyone who believes the idiots were victimized by 'Borat' is a fool. The fact that they portrayed themselves in their true colors by believing their antics would not be disclosed in America says something about people trying to conceal their prejudices.

Borat rocks.

2881 days ago
4.

dani    

regardless of what people may think of this movie the signifcant part of this case is that the basis of the arguement was that the people in the film didnt think their actions would be seen in the USA.

WTF?! so that makes it ok?

in re: the college frat boys - they had problem with getting wasted and making derogatoty remark on camera when they thought their fellow citizens wouldnt see it but now ita a huge problem.

it's about taking responsibility for your actions - too many celebrities as well as regular folk blame their actions on the booze, the coke, the vicodin.....................it's ridiculous. and the most valuable lesson to be learned from this is: dont do anything on camera that you wouldn't want people to see. Video, Snap shots - it's exhibit A people!!! how dumb can u be!

2871 days ago
5.

JC    

"14. Oh, so typical it's pathetic. A bunch of wannabee lawyers writing on this blog and quoting law. Give me a freaking break. You're all just jealous because his movie is a hit and who gives a sh*t if he suckered them on film. They deserved it and now they want a piece of the action, F***-em! Borat rocks and deserves all the money he gets, period!!!

Posted at 4:25PM on Nov 14th 2006 by Steve"

HAHA TRUE!! THAT'S WHAT I THINK!!

2845 days ago
6.

anne    

This show is so bad......I hope the producers have to pay out millions to these suckered people....

2898 days ago
7.

bboutdoorsman    

"AND THE LITIGANTS FOR THE NEXT PEOPLES COURT CASE ARE ON THEIR WAY INTO THE COURTROOM NOW"...

THANKS HARV, YOU'RE THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH OF TMZ AND AS USUAL YOUR INSIGHT IS ALWAYS WELCOME.

IN SO FAR AS THESE "ACTORS" WERE WILLING PARTICIPANTS OF SAID DOCUMENTARY, BUT WERE LEAD UNDER FALSE PRETENSES THEN THEY DESERVE TO GET PAID. BOTTOM LINE TO FOX, IT WILL BE A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR WHAT CONTINUES TO BE A PROFITABLE MOVIE.

2898 days ago
8.

El Barto    

This was a good report, hope Z Spin will be a continuing feature.

2898 days ago
9.

frat gal    

Sue Jones, Smith, Davis, and whoever else there is.

Lighten up, folks! You said it, we saw it, so what?

2898 days ago
10.

RWA    

I have no doubt that they did that. The story is too consistent.

It will go to court - or they will pay. The would-be plaintiffs should hold out for a lot more than $25,000 each.

2898 days ago
11.

Get Rid of Hollywoods Crack Whores NOW    

regarding the frat boys - so its ok to spout racial slurs and disparaging; remarks about women, as long at its not seen here but overseas???? Doesnt matter what continent your on, those remarks where uncalled for and they look like jackasses.

They are using the Mel Gibson excuse ("oh i was drunk and thats why I spoke like that")

Funny, whenever i get drunk i feel no need to make derogatory remarks.
People trying to blame sh*t on everyone else is lame. Take responsiblility for your actions, ok so you a racist idiot, own up to it!!!!

2898 days ago
12.

coco puff    

His movie is so f***ing funny. I'm not a big fan of the Jews but some of them are very good comedians. Mel Brooks was one of my favorites. Why is that Jews are given a pass when they make fun of Jews and if anyone else does it they are anti-Semitic? Double standard, hypocritical, miserable f***s, if you ask me. Did you hear about the new Jewish/Japanese car? It's called so sue me!!! LOL!

2898 days ago
13.

Get Rid of Hollywoods Crack Whores NOW    

Tony.... how is the KKK Meetings you ass!

2898 days ago
14.

coco puff    

Remember to go and see Mel's new movie. The more the Jews protest it, the more it's going to make. HE! HE! HE!

2898 days ago
15.

Simone    

"On the other hand, how's a jury gonna feel about two racist frat boys who expected that their prejudices would be a secret protected by the Atlantic Ocean?"



This is the crux of my argument. They were exposed as the racist and sexist morons that they are. Boo hoo it was shown in North America... they are only crying now because all their friends and family see them for who they really are.

2898 days ago
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