Sacha Baron Cohen courts controversy over Oscar attendance

Notoriously controversial director Sacha Baron Cohen is likely to appear at the Academy Awards on Sunday, despite resistance over his threat to attend in-character as a anti-Western dictator from his upcoming movie, ABC News reported.

Earlier this week, rumors were flying amid growing confusion over whether or not Cohen had been officially banned from the event. Academy officials have stated that Cohen is welcome to attend as long as he appears as himself, said The Hollywood Reporter, with Academy president Tom Sherak telling TheWrap that "we would like him to come as Sacha."

The official Academy position on the invitation, however, remains unclear. 

Cohen, dressed as Admiral General Aladeen from his upcoming film "The Dictator," appeared on NBC on Friday demanding justice from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

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The British director, who has a history of crazy pubicity stunts, appears to be milking the controversy for all it's worth. In another in-character appearance, Cohen told The Today Show that officials "have banned me," adding, "normally I would be impressed by an act of cowardice from the faces of the regime," but unless he gets his tickets back, he said, there will be "unforeseen and unimaginable consequences."

Asked for clarification, Cohen, posing as the fictional leader of the fake "Mighty Nation of Wadiya" Middle Eastearn country retorted, "higher oil prices," according to ABC

Cohen's first film, the irreverant comedy "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" was hugely successful in the US but ruffled feathers in Kazakhstan, where it is officially banned (a Kazakh director is reportedly shooting a revenge film). 

"The Dictator," Cohen's latest film, is reportedly a mockumentary about a made-up dictator from a Middle Eastern-like country who tries to keep democracy out of his nation, according to Reuters

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