Sacha Baron Cohen obviously has few reservations when it comes to taking on the likes of Donald Trump. The irreverent comedian and actor recently upped the ante in his long-running feud with Donald Trump, skewering the blustery billionaire with one brief line of text during a scene in his new film The Brothers Grimsby.
“Donald Trump has AIDS” reads a phony news headline that is shown at the end of the film. According to a report by the Daily Beast, the scene has drawn cheers from audiences during screenings in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.
The joke, which seems rather odd when shared in little to no context, is part of a larger angle in the film that results in a computer-generated incarnation of Trump being shot. A lookalike of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe also figures into the gag, as well. The Daily Beast notes that Sony Pictures ultimately required a disclaimer to appear in the film stating that Donald Trump does not have AIDS.
During his media blitz for The Brothers Grimsby, Sacha Baron Cohen addressed the off-color treatment of Donald Trump with a tone that was decidedly tongue-in-cheek.
“We actually had an argument with the studio about it,” Cohen said in a SiriusXm interview quoted by Entertainment Weekly. “Because they said, ‘you have to put a card in saying Donald Trump was not involved in this movie and Donald Trump is not HIV positive.’ I refused to say that Donald Trump is not HIV positive. I said, ‘I’ve got no idea whether he is’… and what I don’t want is, God forbid he is HIV positive, and he sleeps with somebody, and I get sued, because they’ve heard in my film that he’s not.”
To be sure, the intimate entanglements of the Republican front-runner have made front page news many times over the course of his journey from real estate magnate to reality star to an aspiring chief executive. Donald Trump’s first marriage to Ivana Trump ended in part due to his infidelity with the woman who would become his second wife, Marla Maples. After that marriage ended, Trump’s dating exploits became the fodder for tabloids, including a relationship with former Penthouse Pet Sandra Taylor. Trump has also candidly discussed his dating life on The Howard Stern Show and in a recent Politico piece. Conservative pundit Tucker Carlson recently alleged that the candidate once left him a voice mail message in which he said, “It’s true you have better hair than I do. But I get more p***y than you do.”
Trump, 69, is currently married to his third wife, Melania. By all accounts, their relationship is monogamous.
His apparently vigorous romantic escapades do not by any means lead to a sensible conclusion that Donald Trump has AIDS or, for that matter, any other associated condition. Indeed, Baron’s fast-and-loose take on The Donald’s promiscuities is just the recent salvo in a public and mutual exchange of hostilities between the two men, dating back to a 2003 interview that Cohen – in character as Ali G – staged with Trump. Recounted by the Daily Beast, the interview only lasted for about a minute before Donald Trump became suspicious of his goofy, over-the-top interviewer and walked out.
Cohen has also skewered Donald Trump while appearing in character as Borat, telling Jimmy Kimmel that the presidential candidate’s plan to ban Muslims indicates that he has “the brain of a female chicken.”
For his part, Donald Trump has responded to Sacha Baron Cohen’s repeated send-ups by criticizing the comedian numerous times in media interviews and via Twitter.
Interestingly enough, the decision to depict the controversial Republican with AIDS was not Cohen’s first choice according to a story by Pink News. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth was originally slated to befall the aforementioned fate but out of fear of offending British filmgoers, Cohen and company chose Donald Trump for the dubious distinction.
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