Sacha Baron Cohen Depicts Donald Trump With HIV In New Film ‘The Brothers Grimsby’
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is depicted as having HIV in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new spoof film, The Grimsby Brothers which recently premiered in the U.S.
Originally, it was supposed to be Queen Elizabeth II that was HIV positive, but Baron Cohen reportedly changed the script so that it was Donald Trump who got the honor instead.
Reportedly, the film is a spy spoof, known as Grimsby in the U.K., but dubbed The Grimsby Brothers in the U.S.A.
According to a report by Pink News, in the film’s original script, Queen Elizabeth II was infected with HIV along with Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. However, since then an edit has been made by Sacha Baron Cohen to the film, making Donald Trump the one to get infected with HIV instead of Her Majesty.
Reportedly, the change was made in response to criticism that the Queen of England’s persona should not be subjected to such a scene in the theater, but with Baron Cohen’s particular sense of humor, there might be a different reason for changing over to The Donald.
Trump was described as a “demagogue” by Sacha Baron Cohen at the Los Angeles premiere of his new comedy on March 3, where he satirically borrowed The Donald’s pet phrase by wearing a red “Make America great again” baseball cap, as pictured below.Baron Cohen also mockingly endorsed the presidential hopeful while in character as Nobby from the film The Brothers Grimsby.
Rumors were doing the rounds that Sony, the studio involved in the film, was going to bury the comedy for fear of upsetting Donald Trump with an HIV joke, but a spokesman for the studio has since denied those reports.
— People Magazine (@people) March 4, 2016
According to The Guardian, Jean Guerin, the Sony Pictures spokesman in question, denied that Sony was trying to make the movie “disappear”, saying, “This is utter nonsense. We have been supportive of the film-maker and the film.”
Reportedly, the scenes with Daniel Radcliffe and Donald Trump use body doubles and digital effects, as neither man was involved in the production in any way.
Sony did request a disclaimer in the end credits of the film, but even here Baron Cohen managed to squeeze in a joke. The disclaimer read, “Daniel Radcliffe was not involved in this movie and does not have HIV/Aids.” Then, it continued, “Donald Trump was not involved in this movie, but [long on screen pause] … and does not have HIV/Aids.”
At the film’s premiere this week, the scene with Donald Trump was met with “loud cheering” and one attendee reportedly noted, “A whole cinema clapped when Donald Trump got given AIDS.”
However, according to Pink News, news reports in the film incorrectly state, “Donald Trump has AIDS,” when it should have stated HIV, as people newly infected with the HIV virus do not go straight to a full blown case of AIDS.
Some media outlets are saying that there are fears Donald Trump will sue over the controversial scene.
Donald Trump ‘contracts HIV’ in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film leading to fears Presidential candidate will sue https://t.co/Y4IhLaNpLp
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) March 4, 2016
Reportedly, The Brothers Grimsby has been only lightly marketed in the U.S. with minimal billboard and television advertising. Baron Cohen has apparently been promoting the film himself by showing it to various celebrities, including the Kardashian family, and then asking the celebs to post their reactions to the film on the social media.
According to a recent tweet, it seems Kim Kardashian and Co. did enjoy the spy spoof.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 2, 2016
In the film, Baron Cohen plays a Liam Gallagher-like football-loving buffoon character who discovers that his brother (played by Mark Strong) is a secret agent. The film premiered in the U.K. on February 24 and has received mixed reviews.
According to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, “Sacha Baron Cohen brings his B-game – or maybe even his C-game – to this moderate new comedy that basically defeated my attempts to like it.”
As for the scene in question featuring Donald Trump, Pink News quotes the National AIDS Trust as previously speaking out against it. Reportedly, spokeswoman Suzi Price told them, “The fact that HIV is used in this context, for shock value, is testimony to that fact that HIV is still seen as a punchline.”
Watch Baron Cohen “endorsing” The Donald in the video below.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]