After causing an intense backlash from Muslims in the Parisian suburb of Essonne, provocative posters for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm have been permanently removed from buses. The posters offended the Muslim community due to Sacha Baron Cohen posing nearly nude while wearing a ring that with the word “Allah” on it. Here’s a look at the poster in question.
oh regardez un example de tenue républicaine avec la pub de borat sur les bus ! pic.twitter.com/EwOyZbXIZI
— depressed redhead (@firehairedreamr) November 2, 2020
While courting controversy is par for the course for Cohen, the situation in Essonne is particularly fragile right now as well as the rest of Paris. Via Variety:
The suburb of Essonne has been shaken up in recent weeks by the murder of Samuel Paty, a French middle-school teacher who was beheaded after showing cartoons to his students of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The murder of Paty sent shockwaves through the entire country. The issue of mocking religion has long been sensitive in France. Charlie Hebdo was the target of a terrorist attack in 2015 that decimated its newsroom. A trial for this attack has been underway in Paris since September.
The Borat sequel ignited a gleeful firestorm with American audiences, thanks to Cohen brutally roasting the Trump administration, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and pro-life activists, along with catching Rudy Giuliani in a particularly compromising position for the film’s final scene. But while Cohen routinely put his own life at risk for the film, the recent situation in Essonne has turned into a tough one for the local populace to navigate. Amazon and Baron Cohen appear to be erring on the side of caution by removing the offensive posters. Although, it will be interesting to see if the comedian has thoughts on the matter at a later date.