This is such a strange situation. Strange and odd and kind of hilarious in its own right.
It looks like Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller had planned to entertain Oscar watchers with a little Na'Vi themed humor this weekend, but that's been shot down by Oscar producer Bill Mechanic, who is apparently worried a sketch that poked fun at Cameron would offend him so much that "he might even walk out of the Oscar broadcast on live TV."
What were they planning to do? What could so upset the Biggest Director In The World? What piece of comedy would leave Mr. Mechanic quivering in his boots? Well...
"Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na'vi, with Stiller translating "her" interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn't translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open "her" evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron's love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer."
Although I generally like Stiller and love Cohen, I think the real crime here is thinking this is funny. Maybe the execution would have been something to behold, but when I try to think of ways to improve Oscar broadcasts, Jerry Springer parodies are probably in the the bottom percentile. I would like to think Cameron has a strong enough self-image to laugh at his habit of sleeping with his leading ladies and on occasion, his producers, but apparently those "in the know" are pretty sure the notoriously angry Cameron would not have approved.
It should be noted that Mechanic has faced the wrath of Cameron before, back when he was head of 20th Century Fox, back when Cameron was directing a little motion picture called Titanic. You know, that little obscure movie that didn't have a disastrous, over-budget shoot and didn't result in infamous Hollywood tales of James Cameron's terrifying and disturbing temper.
When all is said and done, I think we can all agree: "Boo censorship." I think that Cameron storming out of the Kodak theater would easily rank among the greatest Oscar moments ever, so I cannot approve of Mechanic's decision. Then again, I've never been awarded for my tact.
And while we're on the subject of tact...
(Via The Vulture)