The 'Who Is America?' Scene Sacha Baron Cohen Deemed ‘Too Dark and Wrong’ to Air
Sascha Baron Cohen has spoken out about a highly disturbing scene that never made it to air after he decided it was far too grim for the series.
He's never been one to shy away from controversy -- just look at Bruno and Borat -- but one interview Sacha Baron Cohen shot for Golden Globe-nominated series 'Who Is America?' became so dark that he instead turned over footage to police.
According to the British comedian and actor, while posing as Italian playboy “Gio” in Las Vegas, the 47-year-old believes he may have inadvertently stumbled upon the fringe of an alleged paedophile ring.
“We were shooting some of this at the time of Harvey Weinstein. We wanted to investigate how does someone like Harvey Weinstein get away with … criminality, essentially,” Cohen told Deadline.
“We decided that Gio would interview a concierge … During the interview, I revealed that basically Gio has molested an eight-year-old boy. Now, mind you, this is extreme comedy and we thought that the guy would leave the room. Instead, this concierge stays in the room and I go, listen, you’ve got to help me get rid of the problem," he continued.
"And this guy starts advising Gio how to get rid of this issue. We even at one point talk about murdering the boy, and the concierge is just saying, ‘Well, listen, I’m really sorry. In this country, we can’t just drown the boy. This is America we don’t do that.’ And then, in the end, he puts me in touch with a lawyer who can silence the boy,” he continued.
“It became really dark stuff. And then at the end of the interview, I say, ‘Listen, I want to go out and celebrate now. Can you get me a date for tonight?’ He says, ‘What do you mean, a date?’ I go, you know, like a young man. He says, ‘Well, what kind of age?’ I say, ‘Lower than bar mitzvah but older than 8.’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I can put you in touch with somebody who can get you some boys like that.’”
Realising the gravity of the situation, Baron Cohen decided to then turn in the recorded footage to law enforcement.
“It was too dark and wrong," he said.
"We immediately turned over the footage to the FBI because we thought, perhaps there’s a paedophile ring in Las Vegas that’s operating for these very wealthy men,” he explained. “And this concierge had said that he’d worked for politicians and various billionaires. But in the end the FBI decided not to pursue it."
“In a journalistic way it was fascinating, but it was so extreme and so dark that it was too unsettling for the audience,” the actor said.