Sacha Baron Cohen Sues U.S. Cannabis Company over Borat Billboard
It's not so nice
Published Jul 13, 2021Sacha Baron Cohen has sued a U.S. cannabis dispensary after it used his Borat character and one of his recognizable catchphrases on a billboard in Massachusetts.
Cohen filed suit against Solar Therapeutics yesterday (July 12) for the advertisement seen above, which prominently features the actor's Kazakh journalist throwing two thumbs up for 4/20 celebrations, in addition to catch phrase "It's Nice!"
The BBC reports that Cohen is seeking damages of at least $9 million USD, accusing Solar Therapeutics of copyright infringement and false advertising. The filing also states that Cohen has never used cannabis, with a representative telling the broadcaster that the actor does not consider its use a "healthy choice."
"Cannabis remains a controversial product that Mr Baron Cohen has no interest in endorsing, promoting or advertising," the lawsuit reads.
"In addition, Mr Baron Cohen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family; he is an observant Jew; and he is proud of his cultural heritage. He does not wish to be involved in the heated controversy among the Orthodox Jewish community about whether cannabis can be used under Jewish traditions, customs, and rules."
The actor's representative added that Cohen has never advertised any product in the U.K. or U.S. over fears it would "weaken his credibility as an actor and as a serious social activist," noting that he previously turned town a $4 million ad deal with a car manufacturer.
Cohen won Best Actor at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards earlier this year for his work in 2020's Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
Ahead of winning that award, Cohen said the character would be "locked away" for the immediate future, though companion effort Borat Supplemental Reportings was released this spring.