Sacha Baron Cohen Sues Cannabis Company For $9 Million Over Borat Billboard


Actor and comic Sacha Baron Cohen filed a lawsuit against a U.S. cannabis company on Monday for allegedly the usage of his Borat personality on a billboard ad, a substitute of stagger for the comic who will not be any stranger to complaints over his controversial portrayals. 

Borat Sagdiyev, a personality played by actor Saha Baron Cohen, became allegedly frail in an advert … [+] selling cannabis.

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Key Facts

Baron Cohen filed the lawsuit against Massachusetts-primarily primarily based Photograph voltaic Therapeutics alleging copyright infringement and counterfeit advertising thru the use of the “portrait, image, image, likeness, and persona of” Baron Cohen and the Borat personality, court paperwork display. 

The billboard in query—on a “busy interstate toll road in Massachusetts”—functions Baron Cohen as Borat, along with his thumbs up and the phrases “it’s nice!,” a well-acknowledged phrase of the personality. 

Baron Cohen has “by no diagram… frail cannabis in his existence” and would by no diagram participate in an ad marketing campaign for cannabis, “for any sum of cash,” the lawsuit stated, noting that the actor has “by no diagram been inquisitive about advertising any commercial merchandise or companies and products (within the U.Ok. or U.S.)… despite countless opportunities to raise out so.”

Photograph voltaic Therapeutics “took a monumental gamble” on the usage of Baron Cohen’s likeness without permission, the filing alleges. 

Baron Cohen is soliciting for damages of “a minimum of $9 million” and a court show combating the company from the usage of his likeness.  

Photograph voltaic Therapeutics did now not answer without delay to Forbes’ effect a query to for comment.

Primary Quote

Baron Cohen would now not deem cannabis is a “wholesome preference” and has consistently refused to endorse merchandise over fears doing so would “weaken his credibility as an actor and a severe social activist,” the filing stated. The actor once grew to become down a $4 million offer to appear in a car commercial, court paperwork stated. 

Key Background

Baron Cohen in overall finds himself on the receiving pause of criticism and complaints, especially from of us which appreciate chanced on themselves the unwitting matters of his pranks. Borat—a fictional Kazakh journalist featured in two of Baron Cohen’s movies—is considered one of the well-known comic’s most infamous characters. Borat became at the muse decried and banned in Kazakhstan for its shameful and offensive depiction of the Central Asian nation that many all around the world took to be an glorious portrayal. When the second film became released, the nation modified tact, embracing the personality as a arrangement to raise tourism.      

Additional Reading

‘Borat’ Sustainable Cannabis Billboard Sparks Lawsuit (Hollywood Reporter)

Kazakhstan, Reversing Itself, Embraces ‘Borat’ as Very Nice (NYT)

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