Two Satiric Takes on Trumpism


The first is not so much a parody as a political re-adaptation of The Producers featuring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick:

The second is the new film by Sacha Baron Cohen, The Brothers Grimsby. Here is a thoughtful commentary by Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim on the film’s strange pre-release buzz:

“Audiences at screenings around the world, and some even in the United States, have been cheering and applauding a macabre scene in a new film by Sacha Baron Cohen in which ‘Donald Trump’ accidentally contracts HIV.

The Brothers Grimsby opens March 11 in the U.S., though chances are you’re learning that for the first time here, given a decision by Sony Pictures to limit its marketing of the satiric comedy. The studio is concerned about the reaction from the real Donald Trump, according to industry sources familiar with the situation.

“At the film’s world premiere in London last week, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Trump moment was met with ‘loud cheering.’ The Metro newspaper called it a ‘massive cheer.’ . . .

“Elsewhere in Europe, there were standing ovations. The joke, done in Baron Cohen’s standard over-the-top style, is proving cathartic to overseas audiences terrified by Trump’s rise.

“Back at Sony’s Hollywood headquarters, however, there has been much less enthusiasm about the scene in question. Three industry sources said that Sony had made its displeasure clear and pushed to remove the scene, but that Baron Cohen, in a rare deal for a producer-actor, has final authority over the film.

“Studio executives are nervous about angering the famously vengeful and litigious Trump, compounded by the possibility of getting on the wrong side of the possible next president. Still traumatized by its run-in with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in 2014, Sony decided its best option was to limit the damage. The film now includes a disclaimer indicating that Trump did not, in fact, participate in making the movie. . . .

“Sony’s pre-emptive fear is a worrying sign of how corporate players are beginning to respond to the rise of Trump. While the biggest threats to liberty are assumed to come from aggressive government action, freedom is often lost through self-censorship, driven by fear and the natural impulse toward self-preservation. . . .

“One industry source said conversely that the claims of a trembling studio are a ‘stunt’ to gin up more publicity. ‘Sacha’s been a great partner with the studio. It’s silly. The studio always knew what the movie was,’ this industry insider said. ‘It’s Sacha Baron Cohen’s outrageous brand. Legal vets it. There’s no worries there, and there’s no big love affair with Trump out here in Hollywood.’ . . .”

Here are two trailers for The Brothers Grimsby:



Ryan Grimm’s complete article on the film is available at:



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