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View Poll Results: Should Borat have to pay damages for misleading and duping unsuspecting people ?
Yes 9 11.11%
No 58 71.60%
Yes in the case of the villagers, No for the American participants 14 17.28%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:45 PM   #31
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That is a good point, Trev
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:45 PM   #32
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The village, like others in the Dambovita region of Romania, is populated mainly by gipsies who say they are discriminated against by the rest of the country.

Indeed, when local vice-mayor Petre Buzea was asked whether the people felt offended by Baron Cohen's film, he replied: 'They got paid so I am sure they are happy. These gipsies will even kill their own father for money.'
This bit struck me as a singularly horrible irony--I can't help but imagine Baron Cohen must've winced when he heard about Buzea's comment.

I haven't seen the film and am not sure whether I want to, so I'm probably not in a position to comment knowledgeably on the poll question. My understanding from the reviews I've read is that Borat's fictional home village is presented so absurdly that few, if any, viewers likely took the characterizations seriously. But it's not clear to me that these villagers understood much about the narrative they were participating in to begin with; and if they didn't, then it's probably likewise unrealistic to expect them to grasp the implications of it being part of a satire ultimately aimed at Americans, not "Kazakhs". Again going from what I can tell from reviews, it sounds like the Borat character is loosely modeled on certain derogatory stereotypes of Slavs (Kazakhs aren't Slavs, but that's part of the absurdity presumably)--racist, uncouth, violent, chauvinistic, excitable, etc.--and that Baron Cohen exploits those stereotypes as a device for increasing his unwitting (American) subjects' sense of permission to say things they probably wouldn't have otherwise. The American Jewish newspaper The Forward had an interesting article on the Borat character, which speculated that it might also on some level be Baron Cohen's way of playing around with the rather long shadow these stereotypes cast in Jewish cultural imagination as well (for different reasons--pogroms, etc.). Interestingly, Baron Cohen wrote his dissertation at Cambridge on Black-Jewish relations in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement--I would like to read that, actually.

It's harder to feel sympathy for the ex-frat boys who are also suing Baron Cohen, though I gather there's some possibility they might've been drunk when they signed whatever these waivers were (shades of Girls Gone Wild) which may or may not be a legal issue--I'm not really clear on that one.
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:51 PM   #33
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Good post, Yolland. I still would like to see the film. As a self-professed Pop Culture Junkie, I must keep up on these things.

After Newsweek had given the movie a favorable review a few weeks ago, one of the people who had been duped by Borat wrote in a letter saying how her (his? I can't recall) duping led to him/her being fired and blah blah blah.

Which, on the one hand, ouch. On the other, this "dupee" had agreed to have Borat on a talk show. Had the dupee done a little simple research, a Google search for "Borat" should have given him/her enough pause to say "hey, waitaminnit..."

So in that situation, I'd say the dupee was fired for not doing his/her job properly, and I don't feel any righteous indignation on their behalf.
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:59 PM   #34
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Wasn't there some sort of contract that everyone signed? How about reading the contract?? C'mon, this movie was all in just fun, and which I thought was REALLY funny.


Quote:
Originally posted by vaz02
Did you all know that the creator of Borat is jewish ?
Exactly, Sacha Baron Cohen is Jewish and is a comedian, he was just having a lot of fun with the movie and was just trying to be funny and trying to up movies to another side of comedy.

I think the reason why the people are suing him was because it is just an easy movie to target. And I bet the only reason why the frat boys are suing him is because they would probaly think that because it looks like an easy win for a law suit and money.

That's all of their faults for them signing the waver
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:23 PM   #35
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Originally posted by tpsreports2424
Wasn't there some sort of contract that everyone signed? How about reading the contract?? C'mon, this movie was all in just fun, and which I thought was REALLY funny.

Did you read the article? Apparently they didnt know what was happening.

If the deceived party neither knows or has reason to know of the character of the proposed contract, the effect of the misrepresentation is that the parties never contracted.

It appears the villagers fit the bill for misrepresentation.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:25 PM   #36
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I'm not sure they can really argue fraud here. More likely they can argue not having understood the waiver (negating consent).

The frat boys on the other hand will likely get laughed out of court.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:28 PM   #37
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Originally posted by diamond


I'm not talking about the Red Necks in the film.
I could care less about them.

The ppl I'm refering to are in the article I linked, perhaps you can take a few moments and read it.

The people were duped.

Read the article:

You are right. The right thing to do here would be to find people willing to portray these images.

I still think the main idea of the film is not to make fun of people but rather their prejudices.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:33 PM   #38
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Why sympathy for the poor disabled villagers, and not the frat boys? I find that a little strange. If the Romanian folk have a case, then so do the frat boys. Misrepresentation is misrepresentation. That article was incredibly poor, taking great pains to paint them as feebley pathetic. I'd take more offence at that, if I were one of them. It only needed some background music of violins to complete the pity party. I am quite sure they are proud and capable people - not in need of such cheap journalism garnering support for their scraped together funded lawsuit.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:37 PM   #39
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Guess I won't be downloading this one ... let alone pay to watch it.

- Kc, Las Cruces, NM
His moral highhorse is a tad faulty.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:43 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Why sympathy for the poor disabled villagers, and not the frat boys? I find that a little strange. If the Romanian folk have a case, then so do the frat boys.
No, they don't.

Whether you consent to something has to do with your understanding of what you are consenting to. We are not talking about parties of equal standing here. That is not to say the villagers are backwards, but it is a lot easier to prove that the American frat boys understood what they were consenting to (per the waiver) than Romanian villagers who have no idea who Ali G is, or how widely the movie would be released, etc, etc.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:45 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
The villagers I feel bad for.

Drunken frat boys don't get my sympathy though.
ding
ding
ding

starsgoblue and a few others have gotten it.

dbs
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:45 PM   #42
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It would be hard for the frat boys to deny having said the things they said. Whereas the villagers didn't type in the subtitles so could have easily had no clue how they were being portrayed.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:46 PM   #43
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Get over it. It's fiction. I don't care if you are poor uni-armed; grasp fiction. No one actually thinks those people are like that, and the people of the village need to stop throwing a pity party. What dignity are they forfeiting anyway? If it's that important to you, don't sign a contract you know absolutely nothing out.


I don't understand how people don't think it's a joke. If they came and filmed me and said my apartment is a shithole and I'm a racist who eats kittens, I wouldn't lose sleep over it since it's fucking fictional.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:49 PM   #44
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I dont disagree. The boys, though, claim (as they're allowed), that they were drunk and lacked understanding. I dont buy it either. But anyway.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:50 PM   #45
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That was to anitram, not the rest of youse.
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