Sacha Baron Cohen’s controversial appearance in character as Ali G at Monday’s Oscars ceremony was not approved by the Academy beforehand.
Presenting an award alongside actress Olivia Wilde, Cohen appeared on stage dressed as the rapper alter ego that made him famous and joked about the show’s racism controversy.
“I is here representing all of them that’s been overlooked,” he joked in a faux British-Jamaican accent.
“Will Smith. Idris Elbow. And of course that amazing black bloke from Star Wars… Darth Vader.”
While the skit earned plenty of laughs from the audience, it went against the Academy’s wishes.
“The Oscars sat me down beforehand and said they didn’t want me to do anything out of order, they wanted me to actually just present it as myself,” Baron Cohen told Good Morning Britain after the show.
“But luckily my wife put on the Ali G beard in the disabled toilets and I managed to get away with it.”
Cohen’s wife, Australian actress Isla Fisher, admitted she had to tell impatient and concerned attendees her husband had food poisoning.
“I had to pretend he wasn’t feeling well in the bathroom,” she revealed, with Cohen admitting he was in the bathroom for 40 minutes getting ready.
“I kept saying ‘He’s coming, he’s just not feeling great!'” Fisher said.
While Cohen said he was concerned about backlash before going on stage, Oscars host Chris Rock gave him the tick of approval.
“I bumped into Chris Rock on the way on and pitched him the gig and he gave me the thumbs up, so I went for it,” Cohen said.
Cohen, who found international fame with movies like Borat, Bruno and The Dictator, often goes against the script and lands himself in hot water.
At the 2012 Academy Awards, he appeared on the red carpet as his character in The Dictator and dumped an urn full of “Kim Jong-il’s ashes” over E! Entertainment host Ryan Seacrest.
It became clear Seacrest still hadn’t recovered from the stunt when he snubbed Cohen on the red carpet at Monday’s ceremony.
According to reports, Seacrest saw Cohen and Fisher arriving at the ceremony and turned his back and said, “No”.
Later, Cohen approached Seacrest during an interview with Lady Gaga to give him a hug and Seacrest was cordial but noticeably frosty.
“What’s in your hands? Check his hands,” the host joked.