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STORY: Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen fought the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week -- and won.
The actor, who is promoting his latest film and character, "The Dictator," had a very public scuffle with the group that hands out the annual Academy Awards over his invitation. Word he was barred made headlines earlier this week, and by Friday the irreverent comedian, dressed in character, posted a video online voicing his "outrage" at Oscar organizers.
The apparent publicity stunt is not uncommon for Cohen, who has mastered impromptu promotion with other characters Borat and Bruno. His mockumentary "The Dictator," about Admiral Gen. Shabazz Aladeen, the imaginary leader of the imaginary nation of Wadiya, is due in theaters later this year, and he needs to lure people to box offices. The character is an amalgamation of fallen world leaders like Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq's Saddam Hussein.
On the Oscars red carpet Sunday (February 26), Baron Cohen's Aladeen walked holding an urn with the image of Kim Jong-Il, North Korea's dictator, who died in December. He was flanked with two females posing as bodyguards, and at one point opened the urn and spilled its ashy contents on the carpet, before an Academy staffer took the urn away.