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Sacha Baron Cohen sues over unauthorized ‘Borat’ cannabis billboard – The Hollywood Reporter

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There is no shortage of entertainment-related cannabis companies, but a Borat The brand is not one of them and never will be, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday.

Sacha Baron Cohen is suing Solar Therapeutics for copyright infringement, false advertising, and misappropriation of its advertising right on a Massachusetts interstate billboard showing his famous character raising his thumb and exclaiming: ” It’s good !

“By using the notice board, the defendants falsely conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has approved their products and is affiliated with their company,” attorney David Condon wrote in the complaint. “On the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen has never used cannabis in his life. He would never participate in a cannabis advertising campaign for any money. “

In fact, Baron Cohen notes that he never took any corporate branding deal despite being given “countless opportunities” as he believes it would undermine his credibility as an actor and social activist.

Baron Cohen said Solar Therapeutics believed the ad would increase sales and “gambled” that it wouldn’t find out. But, he noticed it and he is not happy. Not only is he “very protective” of his image, he also doesn’t believe that consuming cannabis is a healthy choice.

With his character ‘Ali G’, portrayed by Mr. Baron Cohen on the HBO television series Da Ali G Show, Mr. Baron Cohen has spent much of his career making fun of ‘stoner’ culture – a culture that the defendants “openly celebrates Billboard,” writes Condon in the complaint, which is incorporated below. “In addition, Mr. Baron Cohen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family; he is an Observer Jew; and he is proud of his cultural heritage. He does not wish to be involved in the heated controversy within the Orthodox Jewish community over whether cannabis can be used according to Jewish traditions, customs and rules. “

Additionally, although several states have given the green light to cannabis, it is still illegal at the federal level. After Baron Cohen’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter, the company said the billboard was removed, but refused to compensate Cohen for the unauthorized use of its image and that of his famous alter ego.

As he believes the breach was intentional, Baron Cohen seeks triple statutory damages plus actual and punitive damages and restitution of the profits attributable to the billboard.

Solar Therapeutics has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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