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Showtime, Baron Cohen: Sarah Palin Is Wrong

Network disputes her claim that he pretended to be a disabled veteran
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2018 9:43 AM CDT
In this file photo, Sacha Baron Cohen arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Cohen stars in the new Showtime series "Who Is America?"   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – Showtime and Sacha Baron Cohen are pushing back against allegations the comedian duped guests on his new show by posing as a disabled vet, reports the AP. The network said in a statement that "Baron Cohen did not present himself as a disabled veteran" or wear military apparel when he met with Sarah Palin and Bernie Sanders. Palin complained last week on Facebook that Baron Cohen "heavily disguised himself" as a disabled US veteran in a wheelchair when she was "duped" into an interview for his show Who Is America?

In the show, Baron Cohen dons various prosthetics and accents in an attempt to embarrass those on the right and left. In the first episode, which aired Sunday, Baron Cohen's character Billy Wayne Ruddick (the one who interviews Palin) says he uses a scooter to "conserve" his "finite energy," notes CNN. "Contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair," says the show's statement. Still, Palin challenged Baron Cohen and Showtime to donate proceeds from the show to a veterans' charity.

(Read more Sacha Baron Cohen stories.)

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