Posted at 6:33 PM ET on October 31, 2020
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen, who starred in Borat’s Subsequent Film, donated $ 100,000 to the church to a woman who believed she was in a documentary but was included in the mock-up comedy instead.
Janice Jones, 62, believed she was recruited from her place of worship, the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, to mentor a teenager named Tutar who came to the United States with his father from a developing nation. But Jones didn’t realize until the film came out on Amazon Prime last week that Tutar was an actress and that the man she believed to be the girl’s father was actually Cohen.
The Rev. Derrick Scoby, the church’s senior pastor, said Cohen made the donation on Wednesday. Scoby added that he and other church members also did not know about the film.
Scobie said he was not surprised by the donation, but only by the amount, noting that the money was intended for public use, The Oklahoman reported. Scobie added that Cohen knew that the church was a community center where people gathered for spiritual hope and help.
A Cohen spokesman declined to comment when he contacted the Associated Press.
The film follows Borat Sagdiev, portrayed by Cohen, as he returns to America from Kazakhstan with his daughter, portrayed by Maria Bakalova, to offer a “bribe” to American leaders. This is a sequel to Borat, released in 2006.
After the debut of the latest film, many on Twitter described Jones’ character as the film’s protagonist, moral compass and breakthrough star. But she’s just relieved that Tutar has never had a problem.
Jones did not watch the film, but she said one of the film’s producers called to check on her after it came out. Cohen contacted her on Wednesday, said Jones, who noted the call was “enlightening.”
Scoby created a GoFundMe account for Jones, saying he believed the scenario was real and that she had lost her job as a receptionist in a consulting firm due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jones said Thursday that she was surprised that $ 128,000 had already been donated.
“It’s amazing. I would never expect anything like that,” she added. “It blows my mind.”
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