The Playgoer: ADL vs... Borat!

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

ADL vs... Borat!

A thoughtful and worthwhile essay by Justin Davidson in NY Newsday over the weekend, surveying all of our favorite recent clashes between theatre, art and political sensitivity. From Corrie to Muhammed to McNally.

But to take just the most humorous example:

Those courtly rituals - the mutual exchange of grievances, the protestations of having been misunderstood, the polite boycott - have begun to seem so quaint. The Anti-Defamation League recently issued a contorted statement simultaneously applauding and warning against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's forthcoming satirical movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."The ADL acknowledges that Borat is a "farcical anti-Semitic character," but worries "that one serious pitfall is that the audience may not always be sophisticated enough to get the joke, and that some may even find it reinforcing their bigotry." What's really funny is the notion that an ADL press release would have any effect on such humorless Jew-haters.

The full release can be found here, by the way. And it's just as silly as you'd think, though it's careful to absolve Ali G--I mean, Cohen--himself.

By the way, note how ADL is completely staying out of the "Corrie" thing. For now. Interesting how both the producers and the potential opponents are shying away from any fight and have clearly decided to wish the controversy away now.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

How odd of the ADL. The joke only gets bigger and better.