Kazakh MP moves to censure Borat star
Friday 10 December 2010
An MP from Kazakhstan has demanded that action be taken against the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen because his fictional Kazakh character Borat still causes his countrymen to suffer "pain in their hearts".
More than four years have passed since Mr Baron Cohen's film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, was released. The film portrayed the Central Asian state as a bigoted backwater where people drink horse urine and chase Jews through the streets, and where the age of consent "has been raised to eight years old".
After initial anger over the film, there appeared to have been an acceptance among Kazakh officials that it was counterproductive to rail against Borat.
Foreign ministry aides would even make the film in meetings with foreign journalists, to prove that they were in on the joke. But a recent drunken incident in Exeter shows that the British comedian's fictional buffoon still has the power to make people angry and upset in the Central Asian nation.
Last month, a 20-year-old Kazakh student at Exeter University attacked two men on a drunken night out. Almat Samirov said he went "crazy" when he overheard comments about Borat and drunkenly assaulted the two men, throwing one on the ground and proceeding to kick him, in an incident that was captured on CCTV. He admitted assault and threatening behaviour and was sentenced to 200 hours community service and fined £750.
Bekbolat Tleukhan, a member of the Kazakh parliament, said this week that it was Mr Baron Cohen's Borat character that was to blame. "[The film] has left a negative stain on our country," said Mr Tleukhan. "Our students abroad are hurting in their hearts and they are opposed to the fact that their country is shown in a bad light – I ask that measures be taken." He did not specify exactly what measures he felt were appropriate.
Mr Tleukhan has shown before that he regards Kazakh national pride as a sensitive subject.
When in 2007 a Kazakh newspaper published a picture of the country's long-standing president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, wearing only his Speedos, the MP was outraged.
"Think of the times of Ablai Khan," said Mr Tleukhan at the time, referring to an 18th century Kazakh monarch. "A person was buried alive for letting the khan's hat fall on the ground. Now we have the publication of a picture of a naked president. You must not trample upon a state emblem.
"You must not step on the flag. And you must not show the Kazakh president naked."
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Ian Watkins: Police forces probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
DNA from a 50,000 year old toe shows Neanderthals were highly inbred
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£79000 - £93000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Commercial Property Associat...
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...