After former Alaskan Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin accused Sacha Baron Cohen of duping her that he was a handicapped U.S. military veteran during an interview, Showtime president of programming Gary Levine hinted today at TCA that the segment may not even air on the British comedian’s series Who Is America?
“All I can say about that is that there are several people who have thrown themselves in front of buses that may not be heading their way,” Levine told reporters about the status of the Palin interview.
And the chief reason why the Palin interview may not make a future episode’s final cut is because Baron Cohen “is always refining” the final product because he “has a very high bar” said Levine. The Borat creator even screens episodes before audiences so that he can fine tune the series.
In early July, Palin took to Facebook and claimed that she was “a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitative, sick ‘humor’ of the British ‘comedian’ Sacha Baron Cohen, enabled and sponsored by CBS/Showtime. This ‘legit opportunity’ to honor American Vets and contribute to a ‘legit Showtime historical documentary’ was requested of me via a speakers bureau.” Palin claimed that she endured a disrespectful, sarcastic interview and finally removed her mic and left. She slammed Baron Cohen for mocking vets, and dared him to air the footage. She also wagged a finger at “the Cohen/CBS/Showtime production team purposefully dropped my daughter and me off at the wrong Washington, DC airport after the fake interview, knowing we’d miss all flights back home to Alaska.”
Showtime issued a statement in the wake of Palin’s gripes saying that “Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.”