The British comic ends his latest movie, “The Brothers Grimsby,” with a scene in which the Republican presidential candidate contracts HIV in a mishap, according to people who have seen the film.
The sequence occurs during the film’s end credits and has received a raucous response from European audiences. “The Brothers Grimsby” opens domestically on March 11. The Huffington Post reports that Sony, the studio behind the film, has pressured Baron Cohen to remove the scene over fears that the litigious Trump will sue the company. The studio did include a disclaimer that explicitly states Trump wasn’t involved in the movie.
Jean Guerin, a spokeswoman for Sony, flatly denied that pressure was being placed on Baron Cohen to make cuts. “The report of a dispute with the filmmaker is absolutely ridiculous,” said Guerin. “We are 100 percent supportive of the filmmaker and the film.”
Sony was particularly gun shy about the politically charged humor after its experience with “The Interview,” a comedy about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim John Un that resulted in a devastating corporate hack.
A source tells Variety that Baron Cohen has final cut on “The Brother Grimsby,” limiting Sony’s ability to influence the comedy’s content. The film centers on an MI6 assassin and his dim-witted brother, who get embroiled in a global conspiracy.
Trump and Baron Cohen’s feud dates back years. At one point, Trump was critical of an Oscars stunt that saw Baron Cohen dressed up as his character from “The Dictator” dropping Kim Jong Il’s ashes on Ryan Seacrest, calling the comic a “moron.” Baron Cohen returned the favor during a December appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, saying that Trump’s push to ban Muslims from entering the country was a sign he had “a brain like a female chicken.”
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.