In an Oscar year utterly bereft of controversy — unless you consider “Is The Artist too charming or just charming enough?” to be a controversy — it’s understandable that the very public back-and-forth between comedy provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen and the anti-comedy crusaders at the Academy has quickly snowballed into a minor media frenzy. After Cohen announced his intentions to walk the red carpet as his character from the upcoming comedy The Dictator, the Academy threatened to rescind his tickets. Earlier today, Cohen called into the Today show with an inoffensively offensive response. In a possible indication that the Cohen-Academy détente has been broken, Access Hollywood has spoken to the producers of the Oscars. According to Brian Grazer, Cohen isn’t just coming to the Oscars — he’s participating in the event itself. “We absolutely respect him as an artist and he’s allowed to come,” Grazer tells Access. “He’s part of the show… as himself.” [UPDATE: Grazer has also clarified to Extra that Cohen will “be on the red carpet dressed as The Dictator.” The Admiral General tweeted the good news, “VICTORY IS OURS! Today the Mighty Nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes of Hollywood. Evil and all those who made Satan their protector were vanquished and driven into the Pacific Sea. What I am trying to say here is that the Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! TODAY OSCAR, TOMORROW OBAMA!] And so, yet another lurking semi-controversy has emerged from the chrysalis transformed into a beautiful non-controversy. Happy Oscars, everyone!
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