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Sacha Baron Cohen sues cannabis company over use of Borat image

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has sued a cannabis company for using his Borat image to sell pot, without his permission.

The iconic character was featured in a billboard advert over a main highway in Massachusetts, with his thumbs up alongside the caption “it’s nice!” – a regular Borat catchphrase.

Mary Jane has been legal in Massachusetts since 2016. The company behind the billboard is Solar Therapeutics. What a name!

borat cannabis
Image: Quick memes

Cohen is seeking damages of at least $9m in a lawsuit within the state. The lawsuit officially accuses Solar Therapeutics of copyright infringement and false advertising.

False advertising? What? As in Borat isn’t going to deliver our weed? Damn.

But no, seriously. Cohen’s lawyer David Condon explains that: “by use of the Billboard, the Defendants falsely have conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has endorsed their products and is affiliated with their business”.

Okay, we kind of get that.

But then Cohen went on to say that:

“Mr. Baron Cohen never has used cannabis in his life. He never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis, for any amount of money.”

I’m sorry, what? Baron’s first breakthrough character Ali G has multiple episodes of him endorsing drugs, even if done comically. The involvement is still there, so if Cohen is adamant about separating himself from that, good luck!

He’s definitely trying, though. Maybe Cohen is a born again Christian, repenting his sins on his path to enlightenment. Apparently, he’s already turned down countless opportunities to appear in adverts, as he believes it would “weaken his credibility as an actor and a serious social activist”, his lawyer said.

Okay, dude. Once again, Ali G. That’s all we’re saying.

Cohen and his team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Solar Therapeutics, who have since removed the billboard.

However, they have refused to pay compensation for the unauthorised use of Cohen’s image.

Maybe their offer was weed. Cohen doesn’t like that shit, yo.