By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 24, 2012 at 8:53AM
Just two days after the Academy banned Sacha Baron Cohen from showing up at the Oscars as his character Admiral General Aladeen from the upcoming "The Dictator," the great leader of the Republic Of Wadiya has addressed the issue.
In statement released on YouTube, the dictator "applauds" the Academy for taking away his right to free speech, and warns of grave consequences if the sanctions aren't lifted and his tickets reinstated by Sunday at noon. It gets out of the gate a little slow, but the second half of the video is a riot with some well placed barbs at both Brett Ratner and Hilary Swank. If anything, this whole kerfuffle has been a pretty great piece of free marketing for Paramount so either way, this whole things gives the movie a lot more shine.
Anyway, check it out below along with two portraits of the great leader that were also recently released. And we'll leave you with this last bit of food for thought: James Franco dressing in drag last year for one of the worst bits of the ceremony was considered okay, but Sacha Baron Cohen showing up and adding (a probably much needed) bit of comedy to the proceedings is unacceptable. Good work, Academy. We're looking forward to the Cirque Du Soleil performance.... [BoxOffice Guru/Collider]