Is The Dictator Racist?

21 May

Yes. And it’s not that funny either.


“Yes, the film includes some send-ups of American hypocrisy in the war on terror — there’s a pretty good bit in which Aladeen sniffs at the outdated torture devices of his American captor including one that was “banned in Saudi Arabia for being too safe” — and most of the American characters are either Islamophobic rubes or patronizingly P.C. liberals, but it’s not as if any of them are wrong in their perceptions of Aladeen. He’s a violent, misogynistic, anti-Semitic ignoramus who has the real Osama bin Laden stashed in his palace’s guest suite. The only ordinary Wadiyan citizen in the film, the body double also portrayed by Cohen, is a dumb peasant who drinks his own urine and has difficulty distinguishing between women and goats. Whose prejudices are we mocking here? Cohen even throws in a few Chinese and African caricatures for good measure. …

The best satire targets the powerful, bringing them down a few notches and deflating their bubbles of self-importance. But in the first Hollywood film to address last year’s Arab uprisings, Cohen seems less interested in laughing with the people who live under the Qaddafis and Mubaraks of the world than at them. [my emphasis]

Thank you. And the ‘laughing at them’ part doesn’t start with this film.  That’s just what he does.  See “The Dictator ” (April 28th)  He’s f*ing infuriating.



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