“Borat” has sparked its first lawsuit from its unsuspecting stars.
Two U. of South Carolina frat boys who make sexist and racist comments in the pic sued 20th Century Fox and the “Borat” producers on Thursday, claiming they were drunk at the time they signed a release to appear in the film.
They also claim the producers assured them that the movie they’d appear in would never be shown in the U.S.
Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages and demand that Fox to pull “Borat” from theaters.
Never identified by name in “Borat,” the pair did not give their names in the lawsuit for fear of further public humiliation. But their attorney, Oliver Taillieu, said the main issue is fraud.
“If you watch the movie, one of then can barely keep his eyes open,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious to me that these guys did not know what they were getting into.”
A rep for Fox, whose lawyers are still reviewing the suit, commented, “The lawsuit has no merit.”
According to the lawsuit, the “Borat” crew first found the plaintiffs at their frat house, looking to select people for the film. The three who were chosen were then taken to a bar “to loosen up” over drinks. “After a while of heavy drinking by the plaintiffs,” they were presented a consent agreement “to sign in order to be able to use plaintiffs in ‘a documentary-style film’ which as defendants described would only be shown in Europe and would never be shown in the United States.”
Taillieu said he had not seen the forms his clients signed as they turned over the only copies to the “Borat” production staff when they shot the scene.
In the finished film, one of the fraternity boys complains about how “minorities have all the power.” They also insult women while consoling Borat after he discovers that the object of his affection, Pamela Anderson, has appeared in a sex video.
“The depiction created by the defendants were offensive and objectionable to plaintiffs and to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities in that it made plaintiffs the objects of ridicule, humiliation (and) loss of reputation.”
Asked if his clients would have been satisfied had “Borat” screened only in Europe, as their suit claims they believed when they signed the releases, Taillieu replied, “I mean they would have had a problem with how they were depicted, but none of their friends would have seen it, none of their future employers would have seen it. The damage is in the setup.”