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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 11-19-2006, 06:00 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


I understand what you're saying, but as far as the civil suits are concerned, of course it matters whether or not the waivers were valid, etc.

It may be morally wrong to manipulate people that way. But our courts should not be the arbiters of morality, and so insofar as their case is concerned, what difference does it make whether what he did is mean/wrong/inherently immoral/etc?
I understand that the villagers may not have a legal case and I respect that. There are lots of unethical and immoral things which are legal and I'm not suggesting that it should be any other way.

But, I won't watch this movie (though I had been planning to) because I think what Cohen did was despicable.

It's the same reason I won't be reading OJ Simpson's latest book. (Another example of something that might be technically legal to do, i.e. publishing his "if I did it" book, but that I believe is morally and ethically reprehensible).
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:07 AM   #107
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Originally posted by diamond



Kaching for maycocksean.

While some of our liberal friends continue to stick the legalities and legalese of the case etc etc etc ad hominem slaying me with the most insipid predictable posts.
Well, actually, I'm pretty liberal. I'm a bit amazed though at the lack of concern, if not legally, then ethically for these villagers. And while I agree it's possible that they may not have any case, I don't see why it's not possible that they could have one. . .that perhaps they were mislead or taken advantage of.

I mean why is everyone so eager to defend Cohen? Is he that funny?

I guess I'm trying to read the subtext (you obviously believe there's a subtext here too, what with your "liberal friends" comment) but I'm just not getting it. . .
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:28 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


I understand that the villagers may not have a legal case and I respect that. There are lots of unethical and immoral things which are legal and I'm not suggesting that it should be any other way.

But, I won't watch this movie (though I had been planning to) because I think what Cohen did was despicable.

It's the same reason I won't be reading OJ Simpson's latest book. (Another example of something that might be technically legal to do, i.e. publishing his "if I did it" book, but that I believe is morally and ethically reprehensible).
Perfect summation and sentiments of my feelings.

I may peek at OJ's interview to poke holes in his story.

A supervisor of mine long ago predicted OJ would do something like this before he died citing double jeopardy laws as his safety net etc.

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Old 11-19-2006, 01:33 PM   #109
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the villagers were background material
and it wasn't them who were made fun of but the people of Kazakhstan who they were supposed to portray
and in reality not even the people of Kazakhstan were made fun of, but everyone who could actually be silly enough to take the portrayal of them even remotely serious

ergo: wtf?
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:50 PM   #110
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forgive the teenage expression, but wow some of you are babies.

tough shit if some people were made to look like assholes. it's their fault for the things they said, they could just as well have told borat to fuck off and be done with it.

why is everyone so eager to sue?

pathetic.

i wish sacha had gone after them harder and made them look even worse.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:53 PM   #111
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Originally posted by Salome
and it wasn't them who were made fun of but the people of Kazakhstan who they were supposed to portray
and in reality not even the people of Kazakhstan were made fun of, but everyone who could actually be silly enough to take the portrayal of them even remotely serious
people don't get it.

people don't get humour that requires anything more than a punchline.

how else can you explain why shows like "the war at home" are shown on primetime television?

anyone else watch bbc's 'extras'? look at the show ricky gervais created inside that show... it's awful and he knows it...

but guess what?

it has six million viewers!

mindless masses...
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:22 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
the villagers were background material
and it wasn't them who were made fun of but the people of Kazakhstan who they were supposed to portray
and in reality not even the people of Kazakhstan were made fun of, but everyone who could actually be silly enough to take the portrayal of them even remotely serious

ergo: wtf?
That the villagers were misled from the beggining and made fools of was ethically wrong; and if those are your ethics or you're ok with ppl who espouse such ethics then we have nothing to discuss.

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Old 11-19-2006, 05:53 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


Is he that funny?

Funniest film i've seen in ages. The absolute last thing on my mind would be to criticise Sacha Baron Cohen after he's just done his job and made me laugh for an hour and a half.

The idea of sueing him is a joke.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:57 PM   #114
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What I've said before, you have to have a lot of sense of humor to watch this film...

This movie was all in fun and not to make everyone look like total ass wholes and idiots..

The best movie I've seen in awhile because he took it to another level...People are going to have to deal with the fact that he's done it already and theres nothing you can do about it..
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:52 AM   #115
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I actually agree with diamond on something.

I think hell just froze over.

If Borat did indeed mislead the people of this village just to get a laugh, that's reprehensible.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:34 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
I guess I'm trying to read the subtext...but I'm just not getting it...
Well in a few people's cases, it's pretty clear that they simply haven't read the thread closely enough to realize that the criticism pertains solely to the Romanian villagers and no one else. But other than that, it seems like the overt, highly scripted absurdity of the "Kazakh village" scenes (as opposed to the Hey,-they-really-did-say-it "realism" of the American ones) disqualifies them from being taken seriously as exploitative or discriminatory for many viewers; they don't see it as being essentially different from if, say, Monty Python had done such a scene (easily imaginable, comically depraved villagers being one of their favorite themes as well). Sure, Python would've used actors, not real people who might be unclear as to the end result, but either way the resulting portrayal is so hit-you-over-the-head nonsensical (in the eyes of Western viewers accustomed to pointedly double-edged Us-vs.-Them satires) that no one in the audience would take it as realistic. I do understand this view, though the assumed universality of satirical conventions underlying it strikes me as naive. And like I said earlier, I found the dismissive racism of the Romanian local official ("These gypsies will even kill their own father for money") an especially painful irony, given the stated overall mission of the film and its director's claim that "We certainly tried to avoid taking advantage of people who would be perceived as the meek or the weak of society." If one doesn't understand why gypsy peddlers in rural Romania belong in this category then one doesn't know Eastern European history (or present, for that matter) very well. Of course it isn't Baron Cohen's fault that such attitudes exist--and he does lampoon racist stereotypes of gypsies too--but the fact that he wound up unwittingly enabling them in this case, for me, underlines why the particular tactics he used to create the village scenes (which were quite different from his usual tactics) are ethically problematic.

That said, I can understand the argument that since no reasonable Western viewer would take the "Kazakh villagers" at face value anyhow--and since they did knowingly agree, if nothing else, to the low wages they were paid--there's no compelling reason to feel complicit in anything unethical, as it's understood by the audience that no village anywhere is actually like this, regardless of what the villagers themselves might suspect. Even if you're weighing this argument against the excessive-deception argument, I can understand why someone might in good conscience conclude that the former is stronger. My main reason for (probably) not seeing this film is ultimately less this issue than the fact that I've seen a few episodes of Ali G, and I just don't find Baron Cohen all that funny. I understand the idea of showing how "benign" conformity perpetuates racism, and admire his spine in putting himself in situations that could (and sometimes do) result in physical attacks, but the unmistakably selective Will you look at what we got these stupid rednecks to do! dimension of his humor is enough of a turnoff to me that it puts a damper on my enjoyment of the rest of it. Not that I think comedy has to be scrupulously equal-opportunity "revealing" to be ethical--that would be silly, and I don't in general find him unethical anyway; it's just that for me personally, the whole "Gotcha--expectations fulfilled!" element to his schtick renders it a lot less funny than I'd probably find it otherwise, no matter how usefully revealing it is. I do understand why many find it hilarious though.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:12 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally posted by tpsreports2424
What I've said before, you have to have a lot of sense of humor to watch this film...

This movie was all in fun and not to make everyone look like total ass wholes and idiots..

The best movie I've seen in awhile because he took it to another level...People are going to have to deal with the fact that he's done it already and theres nothing you can do about it..
It's not humorous to use and mislead people that way. There IS something they can do, they can sue and/or have their parts deleted from the movie.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:18 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


Well, actually, I'm pretty liberal. I'm a bit amazed though at the lack of concern, if not legally, then ethically for these villagers. And while I agree it's possible that they may not have any case, I don't see why it's not possible that they could have one. . .that perhaps they were mislead or taken advantage of.

I mean why is everyone so eager to defend Cohen? Is he that funny?

I guess I'm trying to read the subtext (you obviously believe there's a subtext here too, what with your "liberal friends" comment) but I'm just not getting it. . .
Well maybe we are replying to the thread in question.

diamond in his infinite wisdom comes in blasting people for posting "insipid" and "legalese" posts - clearly he's not in the habit of reading his own threads. Does he or does he not ask, at the outset of this thread, whether Borat should be ordered to pay damages? Now you tell me which court will order damages on the basis that this was immoral?

So ok, if the point here is to discuss the ethics then why the hell are we being asked about a civil action??
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:32 PM   #119
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don't you just love her?
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:15 PM   #120
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Yes!

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