Sacha Baron Cohen has instructed his lawyers to take legal action after a US cannabis company put his fictional character, Borat on a billboard advertising its products.
TMZ reports that Mr Baron Cohen was upset when realising his trademark comedy character, Borat, was used to promote a company, Solar Therapeutics, that sells cannabis in Massachusetts, the United States of America.
A picture posted by TMZ shows Mr Baron Cohen’s famous Kazakh alter ego’s face next to his legendary line “It’s nice.”
Sacha Baron Cohen has begun legal action against an American cannabis firm that used a picture of Borat on a billboard.
Baron Cohen does not see the drug as a “healthy choice”, the lawsuit states. https://t.co/v2icL1E0Oe
— The Times (@thetimes) July 13, 2021
According to TMZ, who had the opportunity to look into the court papers, Mr Baron Cohen doesn’t smoke cannabis, and he “would never join an ad campaign for pot” as he does not consider cannabis a “healthy choice”.
The actor’s lawyer said that the company had taken “a gamble”, hoping the actor would not see the advertising. However, it has turned out to be a potentially costly mistake for the Massachusetts company, which is now facing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit.
Mr Cohen is said to be planning to sue the company for copyright infringement as they did not seek permission to use the image of the popular character. The legal action could result in the company being forced to pay at least $9 million (£6.5m) in damages. Solar Therapeutics would also be prevented from using the character’s name, image and likeness when advertising their products.