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Kazakh American Association ask for 'Borat 2' to be disqualified from awards season

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·3-min read

Watch: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm trailer

The Kazakh American Association has petitioned the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the DGA Awards to exclude the Borat sequel from consideration from this year's awards.

In a second salvo agains Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the non-profit organisation representing Kazakhstani people in the US has said that the film should be disqualified over its racist depiction of their home country.

It has penned a letter, co-signed by the Hollywood Film Academy and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, claiming the film is guilty of 'ethnic stereotyping and xenophobia'.

“The Kazakh community worldwide is underrepresented and inherently vulnerable,” the letter reads (via Variety).

“Our nation is still recovering from an oppressive colonial past, which is why we do not have substantial media representation.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Credit: Amazon)
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Credit: Amazon)

“Sacha Baron Cohen understands this fact and exploits Kazakhstan by hijacking our ethnic identity, whitewashing us by portraying us as Eastern Europeans, and inciting harassment toward Kazakh people worldwide. Our people report countless cases of sexual and physical harassment as well as bullying due to the Borat franchise.”

The association previously condemned the film on its release last month, asking Amazon to pull it.

Read More: Sacha Baron Cohen had to stay in character for five whole days for 'Borat 2'

In a scathing letter to Variety, it claimed that the movie – the creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, who has played the spoof Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev since the mid-90s – could 'incite violence against a highly vulnerable and underrepresented minority ethnic group', and that Kazakh children in schools were being bullied.

They also noted that in Baron Cohen's movie The Dictator, he invented a fictional nation for his character.

Gaukhar Noortas, founder and CEO of the Hollywood Film Academy, who was born in Kazakhstan, told Variety: “Sacha Baron Cohen and his crew white washes our ethnicity and therefore makes it okay to make fun of us. It would be completely politically incorrect if they were Asian or Black.

Maria Bakalova and Jeansie Jones in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Credit: Amazon)
Maria Bakalova and Jeansie Jones in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Credit: Amazon)

“We just want to make sure that we bring as much awareness as possible to the masses of how wrong it is. This is utterly racist, and people need to understand that this is what our campaign is about.”

Read more: Sacha Baron Cohen thanks Donald Trump for free publicity

Baron Cohen told The New York Times in October: ““This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country. I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the U.S. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat’s version.”

However, some have welcomed the notoriety Kazakhstan has received from the movie, with Kazakhstan Tourism adopting Borat's catchphrase 'very nice!' in a new ad campaign.

Watch: Kazakh tourist board adopt Borat catchphrase