British comedian Sasha Baron Cohen escaped a near-riot at an American rodeo while filming his satirical “Da Ali G Show.”
According to a report in the Roanoke (Virginia) Times, a man who was introduced as Boraq Sagdiyev from Kazakhstan — in reality a Cohen character named Borat — appeared at the rodeo over the weekend after organizers agreed to have him sing the national anthem.
After telling the crowd he supported America’s war on terrorism, he said, “I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards ... And may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq.” He then sang a garbled version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Roanoke Times reported that the crowd turned “downright nasty.” One observer said “If he had been out there a minute longer, I think somebody would have shot him.”
Cohen and his film crew were escorted out of the Salem Civic Center and told to leave the premises.
“Had we not gotten them out of there, there would have been a riot,” rodeo producer Bobby Rowe told the paper. “They loaded up the van and they screeched out of there.”
It is not the first time Cohen has wooed controversy with his show, which airs on HBO. In one episode last year, Borat sang an anti-Semitic song called “Throw the Jew Down the Well” at a country music bar, prompting protests from the Anti-Defamation League.
Producers of the Ali G show, Talkback Thames, were unavailable for comment.