Andrew Tobias has a friend who appears in a scene in the movie. Basically, the location scouts lied to him and pretended to be making a documentary about something else. Then Borat walked in and behaved rudely:
I’m in “Borat”…much to my embarrassment. Borat tried to check into The Adolphus, and I had security throw him out. He was making racial slurs, spouting profanity, and generally making a spectacle of himself. They “cast” me in the role of the sophisticated hotelier. The location scouts lied to me; they told me they were filming a piece on The Adolphus’s art collection, history, and so on.
From what I understand, he comes off rather well in the movie. But that’s not my point.
I haven’t seen the movie, but this scene sounds like maybe a minute of screen time. Borat is 84 minutes long. So, from this and other stories, it sounds like the Borat production team lied to a lot of people and took advantage of their good will. Even after the comic bit was over, the film crew kept up the lie.
At least when Michael Moore or one of The Daily Show‘s crack team shows up they’re pretty straight about who they are. Also, most of the people they tape are politicians, business leaders, and minor celebrities. These are people in the public eye, people who desire and seek attention, or people who hold the public trust and thus deserve close examination.
The movie is probably very funny, but I think my enjoyment of it would be hampered by knowing that it was made by being very rude to a lot of people, not all of whom deserved it. Some of them, in fact, were in the process of being quite generous and helpful.
I wasn’t keen on doing it myself, since my dad had died recently and my family was experiencing those horrible firsts: the first Father’s Day without him, his birthday, etc. In short, I wasn’t my usual perky self. After interviewing everyone, the location scout came back to me and said, “You’re the one that we want.” I turned them down, and, then, they came back, again – and I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing my job. I agreed to do it on a Sunday night.
I pulled myself together to help them, only to find myself the subject of a practical joke from which I could not extricate myself. The producers of the film didn’t know me or my background, other than I fit the profile of someone they could picture looking ridiculous on screen. It wasn’t that they were unpleasant or unkind. It was that I wasn’t even a person to them.
Read the whole story.