A top Kazakh official has an invitation for the British comedian whose depiction of a homophobic, misogynistic, English-mangling Kazakh journalist has outraged the Central Asian nation. Come visit.
Deputy Foreign Minister Rakhat Aliyev said in an interview that he understands why Kazakhs are unhappy about Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, Borat Sagdiyev.
“But we must have a sense of humor and respect other people’s freedom of creativity,” Aliyev was quoted as saying by Kazakhstan Today.
“I’d like to invite Cohen here,” he said. “He can discover a lot of things. Women drive cars, wine is made of grapes, and Jews are free to go to synagogues.”
Cohen’s Borat character has presented inhabitants of the ex-Soviet republic as misogynist anti-Semites fond of shooting dogs and drinking horse urine.
The Kazakh Foreign Ministry recently ran ads on CNN, in The New York Times, and in the International Herald Tribune denouncing Borat’s stunts while offering facts and figures on the nation’s economic growth, civil liberties and cultural achievements.
Cohen’s full-length feature movie, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” opens in the U.S. next month.
“It’s useless to offend an artist and threaten to sue him,” Aliyev was quoted as saying. “It will only further damage the country’s reputation and make Borat even more popular.”