True to his word and the threats he made on live television, Sacha Baron Cohen arrived on the red carpet for the 2012 Oscars in character as General Aladeen, the leader from his upcoming movie “The Dictator.”
But appearing as the Dictator was just the beginning. Once he hit the carpet, Baron Cohen made as big a scene as many imagined he would as Ryan Seacrest became the unwitting victim of the actor’s publicity stunt. Armed with an urn supposedly containing the ashes of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, Baron Cohen spilled the powdery contents of the container all over the E! host and his tuxedo.
It was the final moment in a long battle of the wills with the Academy, which Baron Cohen ultimately won , resulting in his appearance in character as the ruler of the fictional nation, the Republic of Wadiya, flanked by his female security entourage.
The appearance came after a long, public battle between the producers of the show and Baron Cohen, who was initially invited because of his involvement in Best Picture nominee “Hugo.” Word soon leaked out that Baron Cohen planned to walk the carpet in costume to promote his new film. It wasn’t long before the Academy pulled his tickets in an attempt to discourage his turning the red carpet into a self-promotional platform.
Soon after the ban, Baron Cohen went on the offensive, releasing a statement in character and threatening the Academy if his tickets were not honored.
“While I applaud the Academy for taking away my right to free speech, I warn you that if you do not lift your sanctions and give me my tickets back by 12 p.m. on Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences.”
Luckily for the Academy, they allowed Baron Cohen to walk the carpet in his large hair, beard and military garb. Not long after the reversal on the decision, Oscar 2012 producer Brian Grazer told “Extra” that he was excited for Baron Cohen’s appearance. “We’re thrilled to have him and he’ll be on the red carpet, I guess, dressed as the Dictator,” he said.
The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Keep it locked at MTV.com all night and beyond for updates on the night’s big winners and the best red-carpet fashion. Join the live conversation by tweeting @MTVNews with the hashtag #Oscars.