March 5th, 2010
05:11 PM ET
The Motion Picture Academy is confirming Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out as an Oscar presenter.
He was supposed to take part in an "Avatar" sketch with Ben Stiller, playing a female Na'vi. Stiller reportedly was going to "translate" what Cohen was saying in Na'vi. The Cohen avatar reportedly would then reveal she was pregnant with director James Cameron's love child.
Sounds pretty funny to me, but the Academy says the bit "did not come to fruition" (maybe "gestation" would have been a better word).
An Academy spokesperson emailed me this comment: "SBC [Sacha Baron Cohen] thought it better not to do the skit than to force something. Per the producers there was no issue or upset feelings–it happens all the time."
That's the official word. But the alternative explanation, according to several reports, is the show producers got scared Cameron might take offense at the skit. Perhaps with good reason. Cameron, after all, does have a pattern of becoming romantically involved with his leading ladies ("Terminator's" Linda Hamilton and later "Titanic's" Suzy Amis). A sketch about him impregnating a Na'vi might have hit too close to home.
Ironically, Cameron told an online outlet he would have had no problem with the parody.
BTW, Cohen may be out as a presenter, but Stiller is still on board. Apparently he won't need to bring along an English to Na'vi dictionary.
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