Sacha Baron Cohen faked being sick and hid in the bathroom so he could surprise the Oscars by walking on stage as his character, Ali G. While the award show’s producers didn’t want this to happen, Cohen’s on-stage companion, Olivia Wilde, approved.
The actress wrote on Twitter that she endorsed Cohen’s stunt. “For the record, Ali G is a perfect gentleman,” she tweeted Wednesday. “The whole thing was a hilarious and welcome surprise. Haters, lighten up.”
Cohen and Wilde were on stage to introduce two Best Picture nominees: Room and Brooklyn. Ali G took the stage to shout out overlooked “people of all colors” for the Academy Awards, including the titular creatures of Minions (described as “hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs”). As they concluded their presentation, Ali G said what sounded like, “He was well fed” — which was perceived as a crude joke about Wilde breastfeeding her infant son, Otis.
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Cohen told Good Morning Britain he was explicitly told not to appear as any character. The actor has a new movie and character coming out March 11 in the U.S. — the soccer hooligan Grimsby.