If you’re wondering how Sascha Baron Cohen managed to get so many people to participate in the hilarious interviews for his new film “Borat,” than check this out. New York feminist artist Linda Stein describes her experience of being duped in the Tribeca neighborhood paper Downtown Express:
I finally agreed (to the interview), although I admit that I failed to read the fine detail on the “Standard Consent Agreement.” Since I thought this was a documentary, I probably would have signed it anyway. When I did study it later, I realized that it’s anything but “standard.” Buried are statements asserting that I waive claims for “offensive behavior” and “misleading portrayal” and “fraud (such as any alleged deception or surprise about the film or this consent agreement).” While I’m no legal expert, I can’t believe that you can agree to be defrauded — or wouldn’t every used car dealer use the same clause?
Me thinks she doth protest too much, but at least Stein is using the publicity to promote her own work. She also got press in the New York Post and BBC News, which covers some of the other folks duped, including public speaking coach Pat Haggerty, who “says he is having ‘a lot of fun’ with his new-found fame and hopes it raises his professional profile.”
Someone not having fun is Tennessee rodeo manager Bobby Rowe, who was cajoled into saying nasty things about Muslims and gays in the film. “I got into this mess by someone calling me and telling me who they was and they weren’t,” Rowe says. “And so I don’t do any interviews over the dadgum phone any more. This phone rings 10-12 times a day.”
Also skewered were three drunken college students who make ridiculous racist and sexist remarks, including how slavery should be legal again. The frat boys happen to be from the University of South Carolina, my alma mater. Um, Go Gamecocks? Ouch.