Determined to preserve the demureness for which the Oscars are known, Academy officials have expressed concerns over Sacha Baron Cohen’s intentions to attend the red carpet while dressed as his character from The Dictator, thus hijacking Hollywood’s most prestigious night of self-congratulation in order to promote a movie. What’s more, “the stunt would potentially distract press attention from the night’s nominees,” The Hollywood Reporter alarmingly notes of the many stars who could become the collateral damage of Cohen’s attention-seeking, deprived of untold seconds of fawning questions about their outfits and opportunities to express how proud they are of their projects’ collaborators for the first time in months, all because Cohen might exploit the Oscars red carpet pre-show as an opportunity to peacock. As an Academy spokesperson noted to Deadline, "The red carpet is not about stunting," but rather humbly posing, preening, and basking in unfettered adulation.
Even worse, THR continues, “executives at rival studios—most of whom are attending—might scoff at the promotional effort,” ruddy jowls aflame as they splutter their sneers and japes in Cohen’s general direction. As Deadline puts it, “Purists feel that the Oscars is no place for such in-your-face promotion,” preferring the grace and subtlety of announcing the upcoming movies of every single presenter, and limiting more overt marketing to literally every other hour and place. Cohen’s caper, they add, would “make a mockery of what Hollywood considers its most prestigious event.” Indeed, should Cohen fail to heed these warnings, it could cast a shadow over the proceedings that not even the most dignified montage of Billy Crystal inserting himself in this year’s most famous movie scenes or Cirque Du Soleil mime with a giant camera on his head could possibly overcome.