Showtime Says Sacha Baron Cohen Never Pretended to Be Disabled Vet, Despite Sarah Palin’s Claim

Showtime issued a statement on Monday denying that comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pretended to be a disabled veteran to dupe Sarah Palin, despite her claims. Cohen’s show Who is America? debuted on Sunday night, and featured the comedian doing what he does best: donning disguises to trick politicians and other public figures into saying stupid shit, including endorsing the arming of toddlers. Palin revealed last week she was one of Cohen’s victims, and claimed he impersonated a disabled veteran to dupe her — causing some outrage over the stunt. But now the pay cabler is denying Cohen’s character, Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., Ph.D. who interviewed Bernie Sanders in the show’s premier, is a veteran. Watch that clip above. “There has been widespread misinformation over the past week about the character of Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., Ph.D., performed by Sacha Baron Cohen on the Showtime series ‘Who Is America?’” the statement read. “Baron Cohen did not present himself as a disabled veteran, and viewers nationwide who watched the premiere on Sunday can now attest to that. In Sunday’s episode, during an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders, Baron Cohen in character as Dr. Ruddick was asked by the Senator if he is disabled, and he stated that he is not and uses a mobility scooter to conserve his energy. In addition, Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.” The mobility scooter is in your court, Sarah. Read the full statement here: [image via screengrab] — Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

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