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Baron Cohen: Some Footage Was 'too Dark' to Air

The comic actor explains what happened in Las Vegas
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2018 12:45 PM CST
This combination photo shows Sacha Baron Cohen at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 15, 2007, left, and Cohen portraying retired Israeli Colonel Erran Morad in a still...   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, left, and Showtime)
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(Newser) – Even for Sacha Baron Cohen, this was "too dark and wrong." While shooting his series Who Is America?, the comic provocateur filmed an encounter with a Las Vegas concierge that never made it on air, Newsweek reports. In an interview with Deadline, Baron Cohen says he was playing Italian ladies' man Gio Monaldo when he persuaded the concierge to do something unthinkable. "We wanted to investigate how does someone like Harvey Weinstein gets [sic] away with doing what … get away with criminality, essentially," says the 47-year-old. "And the network that surrounds him. We decided that Gio would interview a concierge in Las Vegas."

Baron Cohen first told the concierge he had molested an eight-year-old boy and wanted him murdered. This the concierge opposed, but when Baron Cohen wanted "a date" with a young boy, the concierge leaned in: "He says, 'Well, what kind of age?'" per Baron Cohen. "I say, lower than Bar Mitzvah but older than eight. And he says, 'Yeah, I can put you in touch with somebody who can get you some boys like that." Baron Cohen says his crew "immediately turned over the footage to the FBI" in case there was "a pedophile ring in Las Vegas that's operating for these very wealthy men. And this concierge had said that he'd worked for politicians and various billionaires. But in the end the FBI decided not to pursue it." (A SWAT team member apparently believes in a pedophile conspiracy.)

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