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Arts and Entertainment

No Backlash for Borat - High Five!

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By now much hay has been made over "Borat", both as a box office smash and as a mockumentary in which the innocent bystanders who participated in it were duped and cheated. When Borat opened over a week ago Fox booked it in about 800 theaters nationwide, that's less than one-fourth the number of theaters that "Santa Clause 3" opened in and still Sacha Baron Cohen crushed Tim Allen (Yes! There is a God!).

Now comes the inevitable Borat backlash. But is it real? Yes and no. Mostly no.

Yes, I bet the nation of Kazakhstan isn't real thrilled about Borat, and sure there are some folks who are legitimately pissed off about their representation in the movie.

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A couple of the South Carolina frat boys from the film have even filed lawsuits claiming they were tricked by the producers who made them look bad in the film. (Seriously I doubt those jackasses needed much coaxing, either from alcohol or exploitative producers, to come off as the racist, sexist, hate-mongering, knuckle-dragging morons that they are.)

But I suspect that most of the "Borat backlash" is the clever work of 20th Century Fox marketing executives who are smart enough to understand that any publicity is good publicity. I'd be willing to bet that the trail for most of these negative Borat stories eventually leads back to the film's producers and marketing team, which probably prodded, planted, exacerbated or invented them wholesale.

Besides, every time the officials of Kazakhstan or the residents of rural Romanian village Glod, which doubles as Borat's Kazakh hometown and translates literally as "mud," complain about their portrayal on screen, they only look more like the backwards country bumpkins they really are.