This was no ordinary press conference. From the moment two dozen “supporters” came out, waving placards with the portrait of General Admiral Aladeen and phrases like “Give Persecution a Chance” on them, I felt as if we journalists might have walked into a scene that Sacha Baron Cohen would be filming for his next movie. The supporters cheered, as Gen Aladeen himself walked into the room, ready to address the domestic and international press.
Asking my question with a hint of trepidation – the Ryan Seacrest incident not far from my mind – I got one back from General Aladeen. “Are you from Australia?” he asked. “South Africa,” I answered, before his cheeky response.
Sacha kept in character the whole time, working in lines from the movie too. He brought his wrath upon the likes of Kim Kardashian and her sisters, Mitt Romney, and, as seen in the clip, Mel Gibson, his new “Minister of Race Relations and Head of Intolerance”. But he also took a dig at the UN, saying that he wanted to thank them for dragging their heels on the Syria issue. “On behalf of my dear friend and doubles tennis partner, President Assad of Syria, I want to thank the United Nations for their brave inaction. … Thirteen months and still no Security Council resolution. You guys are amazing.”
The last word, of course, belonged to His Excellency. “As long as you write good reviews, your families will be released,” he said before storming off the stage, his virgin security guards in tow.
The Dictator releases in the US on the 16th of May, and in South Africa on the 6th of July.