UPDATE: As of October 29, Jones has now surpassed her goal of $100,000. Read our original story below.
In a movie full of appearances by QAnon conspiracy theorists, far-right radicals, and a handsy Rudy Giuliani, 62-year-old Jeanise Jones comes out of “Borat 2” looking like a star. Jones appears in the film as a hired babysitter for the Borat character’s daughter Tutar, played by breakout actress Maria Bakalova. Jones has earned fans for showing empathy toward Tutar, assuring her she does not need plastic surgery to attract a man and opposing Borat’s decision to marry Tutar off to an older man. Jones advises Tutar that to “be happy” she should “use [her] brain.”
Jones gave an interview to the New York Post in which she said she feels “betrayed” by the “Borat 2” filmmaking team as she was led to believe that she was taking part in a real documentary about a teenage girl being groomed to marry a rich man. Jones had no idea the situation was crafted for the “Borat 2” storyline and said she spent weeks worried for the fate of Tutar, who she assumed was a real girl being groomed. Jones landed the part in “Borat 2” due to her association with the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, which the production used to cast the role.
“I’m feeling [Tutar is] from the Third World and that kind of stuff does happen where they sell women,” Jones told The Post. “I’m thinking this is for real so I felt kind of betrayed by it…We were concerned. We were up there praying for her and asking God to help her and we were doing what we thought was the Christian thing to do.”
Derrick Scobey is Jones’ pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and got Jones in touch with the “Borat 2” crew after they came to the church seeking a grandmother in her 70s to participate in the faux documentary. Scobey has now launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to compensate Jones properly for her appearance in “Borat 2” after the production paid her $3,600 for her appearance. The crowdfunding goal is at $100,000.
“This was not scripted for Jeanise,” Scobey wrote on the crowdfunding page. “It all came from the heart. She is one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met. One good thing that has come from this is that Jeanise doesn’t have to worry about ‘Tutar’ anymore. She has worried about this young lady for a year.”
One of the reasons Scobey launched the crowdfunding campaign is because Jones is currently unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the pastor added, “Please consider giving a contribution to simply to say thank you to Jeanise for being ‘a moral compass and a light shining in darkness’ in this movie.”
The crowdfunding campaign for Jones has reached over $8,500 and counting.