Spoiler alert: This report details a specific prank in the new movie “Borat 2,” which streams Friday. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know.
The “Borat” sequel hasn’t come out yet, but it’s already making waves on social media for a controversial scene involving a prominent political figure.
Near the end of the new “Borat” film, which streams Friday on Amazon Prime, Rudy Giuliani — lawyer to President Donald Trump and the former mayor of New York City — is caught in a questionable situation on camera with an actress.
“I’ve seen the Giuliani moment in Borat 2. It’s even wilder than it sounds. Beyond cringe,” said Maureen Dowd on Twitter Wednesday.
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” captures an interview in a hotel suite with Giuliani, 76, and actress Maria Bakalova, 24, who plays star Sacha Baron Cohen’s onscreen 15-year-old daughter Tutar. The plot has Baron Cohen’s character Borat wanting to “gift” his daughter to Giuliani to pay respect to Trump, though he ultimately has a change of heart, and Baron Cohen (as Borat) attempts to disrupt the interview disguised as a boom mic operator.
When Borat leaves, Tutar and Giuliani go into a bedroom to have a drink, he asks for her name and address, and the camera captures Bakalova reaching into Giuliani’s shirt to retrieve his microphone as he gives her a pat on the back. When Bakalova turns away, Giuliani lies down on the bed and reaches into his pants, perhaps to tuck in his shirt, when Baron Cohen bursts into the room wearing a wig, beard and women’s lingerie on top of his briefs.
“What’s going on here? Look at this guy,” Giuliani tells his security as he quickly leaves.
Giuliani called implications of any impropriety in the scene “a complete fabrication” in a series of tweets Wednesday.
“I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment,” he continued. “At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.”
The lawyer added that he called the police as soon as he realized the situation was a set-up, which is described in a July article from The Hollywood Reporter.
The scene has caused quite an uproar on Twitter, where celebrities and other media figures are reacting to the prank.
“Well, looks like the cat’s out of the pants,” tweeted “Frozen” star Josh Gad. “Having seen #Borat2 I can now safely tell you #RudyGiuliani is over in a very big way. It’s worse than you think and more uncomfortable than anything I’ve seen in a recent film, documentary or otherwise.”
Director Judd Apatow retweeted Gad and added: “I saw it. I wish I could unsee it. But Borat 2 is hilarious.”
“The View” host Meghan McCain also replied to Gad’s tweet.
“WHY IS EVERYTHING SO DISGUSTING?!?!!!” she wrote, adding, “I don’t want to watch anything that’s going to make me vomit…”
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” star Noah Centineo simply tweeted: “Borat’s marketing for this sequel is out of this world.”
“Oh, Rudy, no,” tweeted “Star Trek” actor George Takei.
Former professional basketball player Rex Chapman tweeted a slightly blurry screen grab from the film. The photo appears to show Giuliani lying down on a bed as a blonde woman in a light blue dress stands near him.
“Here’s Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney to the President of the United States,” he wrote. “A still picture of Rudy from the Borat movie coming out on Friday. Can’t wait…”
New ‘Borat 2’ pranks Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in eyebrow-raising situation
Yashar Ali, a journalist who has contributed to New York Magazine and the Huffington Post, teased his reaction on Twitter as well.
“I just watched the Borat/Giuliani scene….,” he wrote. “My God….”
Robby Soave, senior editor at the libertarian magazine Reason, compared Twitter’s treatment of the Giuliani story with its treatment of the New York Post’s controversial report on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
“Will Twitter block access to the Borat / Giuliani story, which contains personal information obtained in an underhanded way and without Giuliani’s permission?” Soave tweeted.
Scott Dworkin, who is the co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, praised Baron Cohen for the Guiliani stunt on Twitter.
“Sacha Baron Cohen deserves the Nobel Prize for his Borat Rudy Giuliani takedown,” he wrote.
Comedian Dana Goldberg tweeted: “Borat just took down Giuliani. Comedians are doing the Lord’s work.”
Review: Sacha Baron Cohen’s silly, scattershot ‘Borat 2’ takes aim at Trump, COVID
Contributing: Brian Truitt, USA TODAY