Ali G: Good, Bad, Or…
Ali G is becoming a name more and more people are aware of. Debuting in 1998, this is a fictional character that is comically portrayed in movies and shows on the cable network HBO. The character of Ali G is played by the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. The bold humor of this character is often controversial as it explores political arenas and often creates humor at the expense of identified groups including women, Jews, Gays, Christians, and Politicians. The character of Ali G is a gang member who resides with his grandmother in what can be referred to a ghetto area.
Ali G has gained notoriety in the music world as well. Featured as the limo driver in a Madonna video and recording an album with Shaggy exposed this character to a younger demographic. This fictional character was also the host of the 2001 European MTV award show. Many sports fans got a glimpse of Ali G during the ads he was in for the 2005/2006 season of the NBA.
With the recent release of the movie, Borat, the character of Ali G is finding himself in the fire of a heated debate among those who enjoy the humor of the character and those who feel this character has pushed the envelop far enough. Human rights groups are angry over the antics in this new film, believing they promote stereotyping and lead to labeling of groups.
In an interesting twist, many individuals who were interviewed for the mock documentary movie Borat are filing lawsuits. They claim their responses are being used in a different context than they were given, leading to their families, friends, and even employers viewing them as racists. The movie was released under 20th Century Fox, who comments that there is no foundation for anyone to file a claim, and that all participants in the film did so voluntarily.
The persona of Ali G continues to have many faces from providing humorous entertainment, exploring the music world, being a controversial figure, and being under fire from human rights activists and possible lawsuits. The future of this character should prove to be quite interesting for those who take the time to follow it.