Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of the satirical comedy series “Who is America?”, finally spoke about his interview with Sarah Palin and why they never published it.
The creator and the actor of legendary characters Ali G and Borat Sagdiyev, Sacha Baron Cohen, returned in 2018 to his undercover interview schemes. Teaming up with Showtime, Cohen created a seven-episode series, during which he portrayed several different characters. He dressed up for a variety of characters, from far-right activist Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr. and anti-terrorism expert Erran Morrad to gender studies professor Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello.
In the show, nobody was safe, with Cohen taking on both Democrats and Republics, liberals and conservatives alike. One of his victims was Sarah Palin, the GOP former vice presidential candidate. To recall, Palin, a week before the first episode of the show aired, went on Facebook to attack the comedian. She claimed to have been duped, claiming that Cohen’s humor was evil, sick, and exploitive. In her own words, she believed she was going to talk to an American veteran (which, in all probability, was Billy Wayne Ruddick). She then went on to blame Showtime for allowing the interview to happen, which Palin traveled across the country for.
Palin’s outburst only helped promote the show, with Baron Cohen mockingly citing Palin as “Special Publicity Consultant.” However, the Palin interview didn’t make the final cut, something which Cohen never spoke about before.
Palin Left Out
Until now. According to Cohen, the reason was simple — it just wasn’t good enough. Cohen recalled having a lot of pressure put on him from Showtime supervisors, but Cohen’s decision not to include her in the final edit was respected. Cohen said that for his stunt (mock interview) to work, the other person needed to engage in the conversation and give honest answers. In his words, Palin gave generic, prepared answers, as if she was giving an interview during a presidential campaign.
Despite Palin not starring in the show, there were plenty of shocking moments for viewers of the show. Cohen managed to get Dick Cheney to sign his waterboard kit. He also persuaded gun rights activist Philip van Cleave to advertise guns for children.