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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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46.

Mad Balls    

Of course the producers lied in what they promised the actors ...here is a short list I manage to get from one of those "frat boys " and all I had to do is get him drunk and insult most of the nationalities on Earth ...
WHAT DID THE PRODUCERS PROMISE ???
1. They were told they would be invited to TOMKATES wedding ..on Mars !
2. to attend performance by K-fed -- lucky on this one !
3. All the twinkies you can eat
4. A role in Borat 2
5. 123,897,789 dollars ..... in funny money
6. All the beer you can drink !
7. to be called " WHORES"
8. To be tricked into acting like " Themselves"
9. Lots of people in line to see them act stupid
10 . To feel humilated , tricked and Pimped out

2864 days ago
47.

Devi Yankee    

I saw the movie the other night and although appalled in the beginning with the "running of the Jew" I grew to laugh my *ss off havinbf just returned from a very close relative's funeral. I am a Jew and proud of it! if it made me laugh, thats all that mattered. Mr. Cohen is a genius and if the court rules against him the Judge and Jury should hide their faces in shame as they are probably as bigotted as the disgusting frat boys, Nebraska cowboy and gunstore owner!
Way to go Sacha! You showed 'em! This nation is very bigotted and now these "everyday people" have been exposed. They should just shut up and get on with their pathetic lives....

2864 days ago
48.

Mike Peacock    

As for the two frat boys who are worried about what they were saying and that they were using racial slurs. You are what you are. You'd think you would have more of a brain than to open your big mouths on camera and then think people would'nt see it. Let this be a lesson to you and your big mouths in the future. You have no one to blame but yourselfs. I say you get nothing but the lesson you learned. Losers.

2864 days ago
49.

Rusty    

Oh suck it up you little bitches, you got your 15 minutes of fame why care if its bad? It was funny as hell and people obviously like it. Bottomline: Shut up you whiney little brat, and if you dont, at least take it like a man.

2864 days ago
50.

Nicholas    

I find it rediculous that people are making as big a deal out of this as they are. Looking at the lawsuit against "Borat", the University of South Carolina students are asking for $25,000 a piece for "damages". It doesn't sound like they're trying to clear their names... just make money off of a could-be legal opportunity. As said by one of the above commenters, it doesn't matter where the racist comments were supposed to be displayed. The fact is these kids got drunk and let some of their devils show.

But back to the Movie

IT IS HILARIOUS... see it... laugh.. be discusted... whatever... just see it. See what some people are willing to say on a camera.

2864 days ago
51.

Bob    

The Mel Gibson defense. They said it, they meant it and agreed to be filmed. What language were the crew speaking as they were filming? He's speaking several Slavic languages- mixed. If you're going to do things on camera (go back to Pam Anderson and keep going) you know it might show up somewhere and your anti-Semitic, rascist, sexist comments will be heard and your face will be seen. And if you feel that way but don't want to be known, put the hood back over your head.

2864 days ago
52.

Brooke    

Why doesn't Borat just go back to his country, whatever the hell it's called?! I for one am sick of the dirty tyrant!!! Nobody wants him here, anyways, except for all of the brainless borat zombies on this thing. He's nothing but an irritating waste of space. He's not funny, and he's definitely not cute or talented, and anyone who actually went and supported him and his lame excuse for a movie should be ashamed of themselves. I hope this lying scum gets sued for everything he owns.

2864 days ago
53.

newsflash    

Post # 46

"Borat" is from Britain. He's an actor.

2864 days ago
54.

snyggast    

Michael Moore did even worse, by cutting and splicing what people said in the interviews to make them look stupid and America believed him and refused to believe they were duped.

This is how Borat is going to get away with it. At least Sascha did it all by simply lowering people's guard. No cutting and splicing there.

2864 days ago
55.

Matt    

Anyone who's ever read a tv or movie release form knows that it
gives the production company the right to do whatever they want with the footage. I'll bet anything that if they'd read it before they'd
signed it, they would have seen Fox Studios reffered to and a clause
allowing them to show the footage where ever the hell they wanted to.
Just a lesson to read contracts before you sign them.

P.S. "you have producers who could look like greedy, double-dealing schmucks trying to bamboozle ordinary folk." Believe me, they more than look like it.

2864 days ago
56.

MikeP    

So I just read on the smoking Gun web site, quote, "lawyers defending the producers of the movie, which stars comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as a clueless, anti-Semitic journalist from Kazakhstan."
So this Jewish guy pretends to be anti-semitic and heads into the non-Jewish world to get reactions. I know, why not get a Christian or other non Jewish non-talented comedian or actor to pretend to be Jewish with anti-Christian thoughts and then go into the Jewish community to get some reactions from Jewish people? Personally, I think the Human Rights groups and the handicap society should go after this guy for portraying someone retarded.

2864 days ago
57.

C K Perrucho    

Really they are like voltures after "big bucks, lawyers on hand. Guess if this movie weren't big on the box office, wouldn't be so many people after the LOOT. Bunch of hipocrite, doesn't know or never laugh on theirs lives, most of them are a bunch of religious zealots, unhappy with life.
C K Perrucho (no ofense, Learn to laugh! Life is short!)

2863 days ago
58.

fdodgerfan    

#14.........I agree

2863 days ago
59.

Doug Gilmour    

Watched the trailer. Laughed a ton. Saw the movie. Walked out after finishing my small bag of popcorn. Pathetic on every count. Enjoy the movie, kiddies.

2863 days ago
60.

Martin    

I loved the Borat movie - the lawsuits are a bunch of crap! Remember for the ultimate in weight loss visit www.maxilean.com

N-I-C-E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2863 days ago
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