Blame it on Borat
FOX News, Dharma and... Borat? A 'Victim' Complains:
Sacha Baron Cohen’s "Borat" may be the funniest movie made in a long, long time. But one person is definitely not laughing: TV news producer Dharma Arthur.Further developments: Borat also broke her arm, killed ten thousand puppies, invented HIV, poisoned all the wells in Europe, caused the tsunami, and was responsible for 9/11.
Arthur, 50, is claiming that Cohen’s antics during the shooting of his crazy movie cost her her job — and maybe worse.
Audiences who’ve seen the movie have noted an episode where Borat visits a live noon news show on WAPT in Jackson, Miss. While on the air, Cohen, posing as the Kazakh news correspondent, wreaks havoc with anchor Brad McMullan and weather guy Ken Johnson.
He makes sexual and scatological references, kisses Brad and stands up during the interview so that he’s out of frame. Once red-faced McMullan cuts the segment short, Borat then wanders into and disrupts Johnson’s live weather report.
Arthur, the producer who unwittingly booked Borat onto the show, is now living in Panama City, Fla., with her father. She recently wrote to Newsweek calling herself one of Cohen’s many “victims.”
“Because of him, my boss lost faith in my abilities and second-guessed everything I did thereafter,” she writes in Newsweek’s most recent issue. “I spiraled into depression, and before I could recover, I was released from my contract early. It took me three months to find another job, and now I'm thousands of dollars in debt and struggling to keep my house out of foreclosure.”
Calls to WAPT and an e-mail to McMullan, who’s still with the station, were not returned, but a person who answered the phone verified that Arthur once worked there. In Florida, Arthur’s father answered her phone and said that someone would get back to me.
“How upsetting that a man who leaves so much harm in his path is lauded as a comedic genius.” Arthur concludes in her letter. “Think of all the other people who've probably been fired because of his antics.”
So far, however, there have been no other reports of people losing their jobs over Borat. And some of Cohen’s “victims” have even turned into semi-celebrities.