Sacha Baron Cohen will be allowed to attend the Academy Awards on Sunday night after all.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would not release Cohen’s tickets to him unless he promised not to pull any stunts on the red carpet, after it learned that he intended to attend the event in costume as the tyrannical title character from his forthcoming film, The Dictator.
The Academy denied issuing any ban, telling CNN on Friday that although they would love to have Cohen at the awards, “We have expressed [to Cohen] that we don’t like our red carpet to be used as a promotional stunt.”
Following a barrage of in-character threats from Cohen, the Academy has apparentlly relented and issued the actor his tickets. And while they will no longer prevent him from attending in costume as General Aladeen, they have reportedly asked his team to inform them of any planned hijinks so that they can prepare the proper security and facilities.
Oscars producer Brian Grazer told Extra on Friday that Sacha Baron Cohen would be welcome at the event. “We’re thrilled to have him and he’ll be on the red carpet dressed as The Dictator,” he said.
As statement was posted to General Aladeen’s Twitter account in response to the decision:
“VICTORY IS OURS! Today the Mighty Nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes of Hollywood. Evil and all those who made Satan their protector were vanquished and driven into the Pacific Sea. What I am trying to say here is that the Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! TODAY OSCAR, TOMORROW OBAMA!”