After the devastating Florida school massacre, United States President Donald Trump had said that he was considering a proposal to arm school teachers and coaches to prevent mass shootings – a statement that was fiercely opposed by many in the US. Taking this philosophy forward is Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest satire – Who Is America? The first look of the Showtime series was released recently.
In the video, Colonel Erran Morad, a former Mossad agent and an anti-terror expert, addresses the school shootings in the US. He says, “The NRA (National Rifle Association) wants to arm the teachers. This is crazy. They should arm the students.” With that begins Morad’s dialogue with Philip Van Cleave – American gun rights advocate, who teaches three-year-olds how to load a gun and hide it in their teddy bears. Then comes Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, who agrees to Morad’s philosophy, “the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good boy with a gun”. He also meets a former US Senator and a few Congressmen with the agenda, “Let’s see if we can stop these anti-gun people from getting everyone killed.” The video also has Cohen’s trademark digs at misogyny, homophobia and Islamophobia.
With Who is America, Sacha Baron Cohen returns to television after a decade. The show premiered on Sunday. It will reportedly have Sarah Palin, politician Roy Moore and Bernie Sanders as guests. With shows such as Ali G and films Borat and The Dictator, Cohen has been the provocateur, pushing the boundaries on satire and uncomfortable subjects. He has been doing it with outlandish characters and a particular style of buffoonery that made the subject and the humour palatable. This time, Cohen has gone ambitious and political. He has had some high-profile appearances on the show, but they have already dissociated themselves from it – Joe Walsh and Sarah Palin have even put out disclaimers.
I was reading about what Israel does. This was after being flown out to DC to get a friend of Israel award, a 45 min made up interview about my support for Israel. Wedged in there was this sliver about kids and guns. And no, I don't believe we should train & arm kindergarteners.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 15, 2018
Watch the video here: