In a Facebook post on Tuesday, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said she had been “duped” into traveling “across the country” for a spoof interview with British actor Sacha Baron Cohen, calling the act “evil, exploitive, sick.”
The actor, who has a long history of conducting prank interviews with an unwitting celebrities including Donald Trump, filmed the latest stunt for his forthcoming Showtime series “Who Is America?” that’s expected to feature numerous other high-profile gags.
According to Palin’s post, she agreed to the interview because it was advertised to her as an opportunity to honor American veterans. When she arrived, she said, Baron Cohen had “heavily disguised himself as a disabled US Veteran, fake wheelchair and all.”
The former Alaska governor described the comedian’s prank as an example of “Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm,” calling it “yet another example of the sick nature that is media-slash-entertainment today.”
Palin’s post linked to a tweet from the Drudge Report’s Matt Drudge who listed a number of pranked political and media figures.
Sacha Baron Cohen at it again! This time for CBS/SHOWTIME. Lots of tricks played. Both Republicans and Democrats are getting caught up in the madness. Sacha has finked Cheney, Palin, Howard Dean, Alberto Gonzales, Bernie, Trent Lott, Patraeus, Ted Koppel, and more… BEWARE!
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) July 9, 2018
In a teaser trailer that Baron Cohen posted to Twitter on Sunday, an off-screen voice can be heard asking former Vice President Dick Cheney to “sign my waterboard kit.”
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) July 8, 2018
Cheney goes along with the request, autographing a gallon-sized plastic jug.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard,” he remarks, smiling.
As vice president in the George W. Bush administration, Cheney was a hawkish defender of harsh interrogation techniques, including simulated drowning known as “waterboarding,” condemned by some as torture. Cheney has insisted that the tactic did not constitute torture.
In another recent Twitter post, Baron Cohen promoted an old video of Donald Trump in which the now-president criticizes the comedian.
A message from your President @realDonaldTrump on Independence Day pic.twitter.com/O2PwZqO0cs
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) July 4, 2018
“Sacha Baron Cohen – I only wish that he had been punched in the face so many times,” Trump says in the video.
The actor once interviewed Trump for his satirical HBO series “Da Ali G Show,” pitching him an idea for drip-free ‘ice cream gloves.’
Years later, Trump claimed in a tweet that he is the only celebrity who has immediately noticed Baron Cohen pulling a prank.
I never fall for scams. I am the only person who immediately walked out of my ‘Ali G’ interview
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
A spokesperson for Showtime declined to comment on the reports.