Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat
11/15/2005 at 07:00 AM EST
Chronically undiplomatic comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is under attack by the
Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan – for Cohen's buffoonish Kazakh character Borat
Cohen, whose gallery of scathingly funny characters also includes the fearless yet doltish Ali G (who, like Borat, can be seen on HBO's Da Ali G Show), has enraged officials of the central Asian state for portraying them as drunks who participate in such sports as cow-punching – and they are threatening to sue Cohen, reports Reuters.
"We do not rule out that Mr. Cohen is serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way," Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev told a news briefing. "We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind."
The Cambridge-educated Cohen, 34, apparently enraged Kazakhs when he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month. Borat's entrance was made in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle.
"We view Mr. Cohen's behavior at the MTV Europe Music Awards as utterly unacceptable, being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is completely incompatible with ethics and civilized behavior," Ashykbayev said.
Other typical Borat routines include showing pornographic photos of his "sister" to complete strangers and talking up wine in his native country as having been made from fermented horse urine.
There has been no comment from Cohen's camp on the matter.