Well, actually don’t pity them. They did it to themselves:
Two anonymous plaintiffs are suing 20th Century Fox and One America Productions, claiming members of their college fraternity were interviewed to become part of the smash “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” film. […]
The movie features a scene in a motor home where Cohen gets drunk with three frat boys who go on a racist rant about how they wished they had slaves and how minorities in the United States “have all the power.”
According to the lawsuit, the frat boys only received $200 for the controversial appearance.
The plaintiffs claim they suffered “humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, goodwill and standing in the community…” because the movie was indeed released in the U.S.
Just to be clear, I have no idea what the facts of the situation are. Maybe these two racists (and I think that’s a reasonable term to use in light of what they said) really were taken advantage of by the producers of the Borat movie. Maybe they didn’t read the releases they signed. Maybe they didn’t realize that sharing their racist thoughts and feelings with millions of movie goers could have consequences. And maybe they were lied to regarding the alleged promise by the movie producers not to show the film in the US.
But you know what? Even if that is true, I don’t care.
No one forced them to utter their stupid, racist, bigotted comments. They did that all on their own. Indeed, it’s obvious from their complaint that they aren’t alleging their remarks were misrepresented or coerced. They were happy to appear on film as prejudiced, racist thugs so long as they didn’t suffer any consequences for doing so.
I might also add, that I doubt the so-called suffering they have endured is their motivation for legal action. I suspect their lawsuit is based far more on the economic success of the movie (it is the No. 1 movie attraction in the US this week). Now that the movie has made money, they’re happy to try to glom onto some of the profits.
Their lawsuit is remarkably like so many other frivolous legal actions Republicans condemn these days: a suit where the plaintiffs are attempting to make themselves out as “victims” in a situation where they have only their own misbegotten actions and misguided beliefs to blame. Color me suspicious, but I doubt this suit would have seen the light of day had the movie been a failure at the box office.
No, this lawsuit is just another example of conservative hypocrisy and sense of entitlement. I sincerely hope it gets dismissed. These frat boys don’t deserve a another dime for what they said on film. In fact, Sasha Cohen did them a favor. By exposing their racism to public scorn, they have been offered an opportunity to renounce their rancid beliefs and racist attitudes, and seek redemption. I doubt they’ll take advantage of the opportunity though.
My prior experience with ignorant frat boys isn’t exactly encouraging.