It's no secret that Sacha Baron Cohen's most popular and perhaps most provocative character is his fictional Kazakhstan journalist Borat, which the actor originally created during his stint on HBO's Da Ali G Show. His film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) propelled the comedic actor to a prolific film career. While the film became a guilty pleasure for its authentic portrayal of conservatism and bigotry mainly through its main character, most of his subjects aren't in on the joke, which is what happened to one Judith Dim Evans, who's estate sued Cohen in a lawsuit filed in Georgia.
The estate filed the suit claiming Evans did not know she was a participant in a satire that "mocked the Holocaust and Jewish culture." After shooting, the filmmakers told Deadline Hollywood the subject was filled in on the gag with supporting footage to support the claim. Cohen had someone tell Evans, who died after filming, on his behalf that he himself is Jewish, and the ignorant character of Borat was born to serve as an instrument for Holocaust education. The education takes the form of a survivor who ends up "challenging the anti-Semite by charmingly telling her own story." Filmmakers helped Evans' family create a website in her honor. The story about her family during World War II will be part of the X-Ray bonus content when Amazon releases Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Cohen's been at the forefront of combating Holocaust denialism, whereas social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, has been slow to act. "We closely track anti-Semitic incidents and law year saw the highest totals we've seen in the four decades we've been doing this work," Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. "I wish they had done this ban sooner, but I'm glad they have, and we will follow up to make sure they keep their word. Sacha's evangelism and his follow-through — I'm certain it was helpful. It kept the issue in the public eye." Borat 2 will be released on October 23 on Amazon Prime Video.