A lawsuit filed against Borat 2 by the estate of one of its subjects has been thrown out.
The family of Judith Dim Evans, a late Holocaust survivor who appears in the sequel, sued the film’s makers and Amazon ahead of release.
Evans’s family claims she had no idea about the true nature of the film and that Baron Cohen was “mocking Jewish culture” in the scene.
However, a source close to the film’s production said that not only did Evans know what the actor was doing, but there is footage of her being told.
The scene in question sees Baron Cohen’s Borat walk into a synagogue dressed in antisemitic clothing. He approaches Evans, who then listens as Borat tells her he read a post on Facebook that said the Holocaust never happened.
Evans then politely educates Borat while highlighting her personal experience.
This particular scene was designed to criticise antisemitism as well as the social media site, which Baron Cohen once referred to as the “greatest propaganda machine in history” for “amplifying hate”.
Baron Cohen is said to have revealed his true identity “for the first time” after considering the sensitivity regarding Evans’s involvement.
It was reported that Baron Cohen deemed it necessary to fill in his subject on who he actually was out of respect, and that Evans knew he was “playing an ignorant character as a means of Holocaust education”.
Evans died before the film was released.
Fulton County Georgia Judge Kevin Farmer took the film's side when considering the lawsuit.
Attorney Russell Smith, speaking on behalf of Amazon, said: “The lawsuit was dismissed, unconditionally."
He said that Baron Cohen “was deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Judith Dim Evans, whose compassion and courage as a Holocaust survivor has touched the hearts of millions of people who have seen the film”.
He added: “Judith’s life is a powerful rebuke to those who deny the Holocaust, and with this film and his activism, Sacha Baron Cohen will continue his advocacy to combat Holocaust denial around the world.”
According to initial legal documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Evans was approached in January to talk about the Holocaust for what she believed was a legitimate documentary.
However, the film – which is dedicated to Evans – was in fact Cohen's comedy sequel.
The lawsuit was brought by Evans’s daughter, Michelle Dim St Pierre, against Amazon Prime and Oak Springs Productions.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – starring Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova – is available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video.
Since its release, some of the film’s subjects have spoken out about their appearance, with Instagram “influencer” Macey Chanel saying she’s had a “super difficult time”.
Meanwhile a pair of YouTube pranksters tricked several celebrities, including David Walliams and Jimmy Carr, into auditioning for a third Borat film.
Find out what Baron Cohen’s prank victims have said about being tricked in the new film here.
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