According to Oscar telecast co-producer Adam Shankman, Sacha Baron Cohen was the first choice to host, but was vetoed by the Academy. Now it seems he won’t even be a presenter, because someone didn’t like his planned Avatar skit.
[from Vulture's Exclusive] An insider familiar with the Oscar telecast tells Vulture that an Avatar sketch planned by Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller was nixed yesterday by show producer Bill Mechanic, who worried that Cameron would be so offended by it that he might even walk out of the Oscar broadcast on live TV. [*dismissive wank*]
Our insider informs us that Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na’vi, with Stiller translating “her” interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn’t translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open “her” evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron’s love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer.
Mechanic, now both a producer of motion pictures and of this year’s Oscar telecast, was head of Twentieth Century Fox when Cameron’s Titanic famously went massively over budget and over schedule, so he’s well acquainted with Cameron’s sense of humor — or lack of it. “Let’s just say that Cameron isn’t known to be, shall we say, ‘self-deprecating,’” explained one insider familiar with the decision to cut the sketch.
Most people will pin this on Cameron, and that’d be a much easier joke for me, but the truth is, this is Hollywood pussyism at its finest. For every one time a star takes offense to having his balls busted, an assistant or publicist intercepts and gets offended on his behalf at least 1000 times. Everyone’s so afraid of offending each other, and everything seems offensive compared to their standard line of embarrassing ass kissing. Hollywood needs to man up and be more like real people, like me and my friend Bill. When we see each other, I tell him, “WHAT’S UP, FAGGOT CLIT?” and punch him in the nuts. Then he pulls a knife and stabs me in the belly. That’s how you know we’re good friends.