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In his latest political prank, a disguised Sacha Baron Cohen took to the streets of Olympia, Wash., over the weekend, where he and a faux-bluegrass band infiltrated a far-right rally and wound up leading a racist sing-along for some of its attendees.
The March for Our Rights 3 rally took place last Saturday, June 27 in a small park in the state capital and was hosted by the Washington Three Percenters group before the main stage was stolen by the undercover English comedian.
The 48-year-old introduced himself as the leader of a fictional organization who wanted to sponsor the rally before breaking out into a musical number, according to Variety.
While successfully encouraging supporters to sing along with him, Cohen sang offensive lyrics about injecting the “Wuhan flu” — a racist term for COVID-19 — into U.S. political figures like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and world-renowned physician Dr. Anthony Fauci before he sang about “chopping” the World Health Organization (WHO) up “like the Saudis do.”
Though he was convincingly disguised in overalls, a baseball cap, long hair and a beard, Cohen was widely speculated to be the masked prankster after footage of the stunt went viral on social media. His identity was confirmed on Sunday by Variety.
Dressed as a hillbilly, Sasha Baron Cohen infiltrated a rally being held by “The Washington State Three Percenters” – a right wing militia group — and took over the stage.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 28, 2020
The Bruno actor reportedly brought his own security team, too, which kept the Three Percenters from putting an end to his practical joke any sooner, according to one of the event’s organizers.
The organizer said that members of the Three Percenters had to “physically” force themselves through Cohen’s security guards before unplugging his microphone and kicking him offstage.
Despite singing along to Cohen’s colourful, anti-government song, the Washington Three Percenters write on their official website that the organization is “not an anti-government militia group” but rather “pro-government.”
The group — which also describes itself as “God-fearing patriots” — is well known for its advocacy of gun ownership rights and is often referred to as a “militia movement.”
The organization was found in 2008 by Michael Vanderboegh.
The group’s website, however, claims they “are an inclusive group and welcome all races, nationalities, religions and lifestyle preferences,” so long as they are an “American patriot.”
This wasn’t the first time Cohen has made an effort to expose bigotry in the U.S., either. For example, back in 2004, while filming the third season of Da Ali G Show, he appeared at a bar in Arizona and performed a song called In My Country There Is Problem.
Disguised as his fictional, anti-Semitic character Borat Sagdiyev, Cohen had the crowd singing and clapping along as he sang racist lyrics, which encouraged violence towards Jewish people.
The tune is commonly referred to as Throw the Jew Down the Well.
Cohen also created four new alter egos for his one-off 2018 political satire series Who Is America? and performed similar pranks. It is currently unclear whether his most recent stunt was recorded for the series or if the show will even return.
Global News has reached out to a representative of Cohen seeking comment.
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