Drunken racist frat boys sue Borat.
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two of the college fraternity brothers shown guzzling alcohol and making racist remarks in the "Borat" movie have sued the studio and producers for fraud, saying filmmakers duped them into appearing in the movie by getting them drunk.
In a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, plaintiffs named as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, both from South Carolina, agreed to appear in the film after producers promised it would never be shown in the United States.
The movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," debuted last weekend as the No. 1 film in North America, grossing more than $26 million in domestic ticket sales.
The film stars British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as the title character, Borat Sagdiyev, an unwittingly offensive TV journalist from Central Asia whose boorish sensibilities clash with ordinary Americans he meets on a cross-country road trip.
The story line is driven by a series of improvised encounters with people who become Cohen's unsuspecting foils while taking part in what they think is a real documentary.
The scene at issue in the lawsuit depicts Borat conducting a drunken interview with three college frat boys in a motor home. As the four grow increasingly inebriated, they make racist remarks about slavery and how minorities in the United States "have all the power."
Before filming the scene, the lawsuit says, producers interviewed the college students at their frat house, then took them "to a drinking establishment to 'loosen up"' and plied them with alcohol. After a period of "heavy drinking," the students were presented with consent forms, which they signed, it said.
According to the complaint, the frat boys were then escorted to a motor home for the filming of what they were told would be a "documentary-style" movie and "were encouraged to continue drinking, which they did." Continued...
"Believing the film would not be viewed in the United States and at the encouragement of (the filmmakers), plaintiffs engaged in behavior they otherwise would not have engaged in," the suit says.
"They took advantage of those kids for their own financial gain," plaintiffs' lawyer, Olivier Tailleiu, told Reuters.
Fallout from the movie, Tailleiu said, cost one of the students a job at a major corporation and another "a very prestigious internship." The third student involved in the scene did not take part in the suit, he said.
A spokesman for the film's distributor, 20th Century Fox, declined to comment except to say, "The lawsuit has no merit."
The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order requiring footage of the plaintiffs to be removed from the film.