The bold trickster Sacha Baron Cohen just decided to go after Facebook and Twitter. They have, he says, been letting Holocaust deniers run rampant over the internet. Facebook has apparently been more interested in going after liberal publications and Twitter just started putting notices of Donald Trump’s lying tweets.
In his new Time magazine guest column, Baron Cohen called out the two social media platforms. He announced that he has a Borat sequel. He calls it an evolving discussion regarding Mark Zuckerberg’s sudden ban on Holocaust-denying messages. Twitter followed suit shortly after.
The new movie Borat 2 is an edgy satire about anti-Semitism premiering on Amazon October 23.
Baron Cohen went after the two platforms for giving Holocaust deniers “a free page to spew anti-Semitic lies,” then claiming the messages fell under the First Amendment’s free speech protection.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that Baron Cohen’s “relentless efforts to shine a light on the practice,” was critical to keeping the pressure up on social media outlets. This was especially true, since the 2020 elections have brought the two platforms under greater observation than ever.
‘We closely track anti-Semitic incidents and law year saw the highest totals we’ve seen in the four decades we’ve been doing this work. ‘I wish they had done this ban sooner, but I’m glad they have, and we will follow up to make sure they keep their word. Sacha’s evangelism and his follow through — I’m certain it was helpful. It kept the issue in the public eye.’
In Georgia, a lawsuit was filed by Holocaust survivor Judith Dim Evans’s estate. She appears in the movie giving first-hand accounts of the atrocities against Jews. Members of her family died in the camps.
This lawsuit claimed that she did not realize she was appearing in a satire and Baron-Cohen used her to “mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture.”
The filmmakers suggested that viewers might change their mind after they see the movie. They said they included Dim Evans to create the exact opposite result. They also told her about the satire after it was filmed and included footage of that conversation, according to The Deadline’s exclusive:
‘Baron Cohen dedicates the movie to Evans, who died after filming. I’m told that he for the first time while making one of his movies — where most everyone but him is an unwitting participant — out of respect he had someone tell Evans and the friend who shares the scene with her that Baron Cohen himself is Jewish and playing an ignorant character as a means of Holocaust education, by featuring a Holocaust survivor who ends up challenging the anti-Semite by charmingly telling her own story.
The journalist continued, saying that the filmmakers set up a website in her honor:
‘The filmmakers separately helped other family members of Dim Evans to create a website in her honor, and I’ve heard that Baron Cohen and Amazon Prime created a way through its X-Ray bonus content for viewers of the film to hear Evans tell the story of what happened to her family during WWII.’
Baron-Cohen has scheduled appearances beginning late this week to go after Facebook and Twitter. Whether or not the two platforms’ Holocaust-denying ban is coincidental or not, you decide.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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