Sacha Baron Cohen’s Dictator Congratulates New French President
Socialist leader Francois Hollande was named president of France on Sunday night, and everyone from Sacha Baron Cohen’s General Aladeen to Gallic A-list stars have been giving their two Euro cents on the vote.
Cohen, alias his latest character Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, also known as The Dictator, sent a video message to Hollande that aired on Canal Plus’ special elections coverage episode of Le Grand Journal.
“Congratulations to the new president, Francois Holidays,” he said, adding: “However, the only president of France that I acknowledge is Dominique Strauss-Kahn. You should have picked him, people of France! He has some of the best rape excuses I have ever heard.”
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Comedian Gad Elmaleh, who had a small role in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, wrote on Twitter: “Private jet. Outdoor concert. New gal. Welcome to show business. Change starts tonight!”
On a more serious note, the Gallic entertainment business is waiting to see how Hollande will affect the industry. Outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy strictly enforced France’s piracy laws, and Hollande had said during a speech in March that he planned to change those laws while still being in support of the industry against piracy.
Hollande hasn’t announced any planned specific amendments to the so-called Hadopi law that he considers an invasion of privacy by requiring Internet service providers to report illegal content downloading and a “three strike” policy for pirates.
The global economy will also be an issue affecting the film business. France's resident enfant terrible director Mathieu Kassovitz tweeted: "Joking aside, I wish the best to [Francois Hollande] for the next five years. Let's hope there's not another global financial crisis."