Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Showtime denies Sacha Baron Cohen posed as disabled veteran to trick Sarah Palinem/em
Photo: Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images)

A lot of right-wing political figures have been falling over each other to reveal that they got tricked into doing interviews for Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series Who Is America?, as if supporting Trump just makes people really proud to admit how easily they can get conned, but Sarah Palin was one of the first to willingly leap into this weird trap. Last week, she claimed that Baron Cohen had disguised himself as a “disabled U.S. veteran” in a wheelchair for the show, and after a “long interview” she realized she was being pranked and “literally” walked out. Now that the show has actually aired and Showtime can stop pretending like it’s some big secret, though, the premium cable network has released an official statement dismissing Palin’s claims.

In the statement, Showtime points out that the characters Baron Cohen played aren’t disabled veterans, and though one does use a wheelchair, he says it’s to “conserve his energy.” On top of that, Showtime says that Baron Cohen never presented himself as a U.S. veteran while talking to Palin, and he didn’t even use a wheelchair during their interview. In other words, after a lifetime of being totally trustworthy, Sarah Palin has just now started saying stuff that has absolutely no basis in facts.

Meanwhile, if Sarah Palin had actually wanted to generate some real controversy surrounding Baron Cohen’s show, she could’ve just looked at the credits. As noticed by The Hollywood Reporter, Who Is America?’s writing staff includes Kurt Metzger, the comedian and former Inside Amy Schumer writer who had some particularly shitty things to say back in 2016 when New York’s UCB branch banned a prominent comedian over multiple rape allegations. Metzger denounced the accusers in an extremely vile and sexist Facebook post about “mob mentality” that felt a lot like he was blaming the alleged victims, Amy Schumer had to repeatedly distance herself from his comments, and then Metzger finally came around and acknowledged that maybe it really is okay to just trust what women say.

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