Unaired Who Is America Segment

Sacha Baron Cohen turned plenty of heads with his Showtime series Who Is America?, where he put himself under heavy make-up to become various characters who interviewed politicians, pundits and everyday American citizens, ultimately embarrassing them or making them severely uncomfortable, and showing the ugliest side of their instinctual proclivities and behavior. But there was one dark turn that a particular interview for the series took that was too horrendous to make light of, so much that footage from the segment was turned over to the FBI and never aired on the show.

Find out about this unaired Who Is America segment from Sacha Baron Cohen himself below.

With a Golden Globe nomination under his belt for Who Is America?, everyone has been talking to Sacha Baron Cohen about the series after the comedian stayed mostly quiet when the show aired earlier this year. Speaking with Deadline, Cohen revealed a certain incident that was manufactured under the guise of his character Gio Monaldo. Here’s a taste of Cohen playing the character:

The character in question is a diabolical “fixer” who helps the rich and powerful partake in questionable and likely illegal activities, typically helping despicable people, all in an effort to show how far some people are willing to go just to make a lot of money. But one of Cohen’s efforts as Gio was met with too much nonchalant evil to even appear remotely funny. Cohen explained:

“There was an interview that didn’t make it in, with Gio. We were shooting some of this at the time of Harvey Weinstein. We wanted to investigate how does someone like Harvey Weinstein gets away with doing what…get away with criminality, essentially. And the network that surrounds him. We decided that Gio would interview a concierge in Las Vegas. During the interview, I revealed that basically Gio has molested an eight-year-old boy. Now, mind you, this is extreme comedy and we thought that the guy would leave the room. Instead, this concierge stays in the room and I go, listen, you’ve got to help me get rid of the problem. And this guy starts advising Gio how to get rid of this issue. We even at one point talk about murdering the boy, and the concierge is just saying, ‘well, listen, I’m really sorry. In this country, we can’t just drown the boy. This is America we don’t do that.’ And then, in the end, he puts me in touch with a lawyer who can silence the boy. It became really dark stuff.”

There has always been a twisted side to the kind of behavior Sacha Baron Cohen’s exposes when he’s under the guise of a character, especially on Who Is America?, but this is more than despicable. But believe it or not, it actually got worse.

“Then at the end of the interview I say, listen, I want to go out and celebrate now. Can you get me a date for tonight? He says, ‘What do you mean, a date?’ I go, “You know, like a young man.’ He says, ‘Well, what kind of age?’ I say, ‘Lower than Bar Mitzvah but older than eight.’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I can put you in touch with somebody who can get you some boys like that.’”

Holy shit. This concierge just agreed to help a man, who just admitted to molesting another child, find another child for him to have a “date” with. This is not just unfunny, but it’s thoroughly disturbing, and that’s exactly why it didn’t end up airing. Cohen said, “In a journalistic way it was fascinating, but it was so extreme and so dark that it was too unsettling for the audience.” Instead, the experience prompted Sacha Baron Cohen and his team to get the FBI involved:

“We immediately turned over the footage to the FBI because we thought, perhaps there’s a pedophile ring in Las Vegas that’s operating for these very wealthy men. And this concierge had said that he’d worked for politicians and various billionaires. But in the end the FBI decided not to pursue it.”

Hopefully the FBI has a damn good reason for not pursuing something like this, because knowing that there’s a person like this who helps rich and powerful people get away with seedy, disgusting activity like this is truly sickening.

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