Jordan, did you read what bullshit those complaints and lawsuits were? That's besides the point. What I object to is the manner in which Cohen got the participant's permission to be in the movie.
Jordan, have you actually seen the movie to say this?No. However, I've watched Da Ali G show several times (Borat was a character on the show). Also, I've read several news pieces regarding this; most notably an interview with Cohen in The Rolling Stone.
Also, read this article, "What's real in 'Borat'?" http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2006/11/10/guide_to_borat/
From that Salon article:
* Rowe told Salon that he'd agreed to let Borat sing, believing the story that Borat was a Kazakh journalist traveling across the country.
* Streit contends that the production company that set-up her meetings with Borat put into writing that the session would "be filmed as part of a documentary for Belarus Television and for those purposes only."
* Linda Stein, Grace Welch and Carole De Saram were told by producers that they would be appearing in a documentary to help women in Third World countries
* When Borat arrived, "they kept him away from most people in the dealership. I had no idea who he was. I just thought he didn't know anything about this country."
* We were gotten. Our folks researched the production company, which has its own Web site and sounds legitimate.
* Dharma Arthur, the woman responsible for booking Borat on the show, says she lost her livelihood because of the incident.
* "I had a funny feeling at first," Walker continues. "But some woman called and seemed nice and convincing, and she sent me stuff on some official-looking letterhead. Then when Borat came, all hell broke loose."
* The villagers were told that the filming was for a documentary about their hardship
So, Cohen and company went to great lengths to deceive people. The deception wouldn't be too harmful if this was a simple candid camera type of thing. But, Borat sets out to humiliate these people. I believe that most of the people in the film would not have given their permission if they knew the true nature of the film. It's this combination of deception and humiliation that I find offensive and immoral.