The advent of social media has allowed the public to have a voice in conversations that affect us all. Unfortunately, it can also drown out the voices of important cultural leaders at critical moments. Luckily for all of us, Hollywood’s moral North Star Borat made an appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors to weigh in on current events, including Ye (otherwise known as Kanye West), former President Donald Trump, and American antisemitism.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s iconic character was on the scene as part of the tribute to U2, for some reason, but given the venue, it was inevitable he turn to political humor. “I know the president of US and A is here. Where are you, Mr. Trump?” Looking at current president Joe Biden, he continued (per The Guardian), “Where has your blown-ass big belly gone? And your pretty orange skin has become pale.” Borat also acknowledged Dr. Jill Biden with the joke: “I see you have a new wife. Wawawoooah! She is very erotic. I must look away before I get a Bono.”
“Before I proceed, I will say I am very upset about the antisemitism in US and A. It not fair. Kazakhstan is No 1 Jew-crushing nation. Stop stealing our hobby. Stop the steal! Stop the steal!” The comedian went on to add, “Your Kanye. He tried to move to Kazakhstan and even tried to change his name to Kazakhstan-ye West. But we said no. He’s too antisemitic even for us.”
Baron Cohen, who is of Jewish descent, went on to perform a rendition of a U2 hit in character, swapping the words to sing “With Or Without Jews.” Per The Guardian, Borat interrupted himself to ask “What’s the problem? They loved this at Mar-a-Lago. They chose ‘Without Jews.’”
Borat wasn’t the only cultural leader to speak up about Ye in the wake of his controversial Alex Jones interview. On the latest episode of his Sirius XM show (per Variety), Howard Stern said, “This guy is so ill.” Reflecting on some of Ye’s antisemitic remarks, the host added, “Alex Jones kept trying to throw him a life preserver and Kanye would just slap it away. It was pretty fucking crazy. All this stuff I was reading and hearing about.”
Outlining the ways Adolf Hitler’s beliefs also targeted Black people, Stern went on to say, “I could give you a psychological theory that I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks, that maybe he hates being Black so much. He’s so self-hating. He wants to wear a hood and pretend he’s a white man. A white man in the Nazi party. In a weird way [he] despises being Black and wants to be accepted by Nazis.”