Sacha Baron Cohen has just had a surprising change of heart that will have Massachusetts based Cannabis dispensary breathing a mighty sigh of relief. Last year, the Borat star was demanding millions in a lawsuit when a company used the famous Cohen character to promote their dispensary. However, the New York Post reports that Sacha Baron Cohen has decided to drop the lawsuit entirely. Great Success!
The lawsuit in question was being filed against Solar Therapeutics, a self-described sustainable cannabis company and the first company of its kind in the US to be energy independent, thanks to their solar-powered plant. Last year, the company used a billboard advertisement featuring Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat, doing his signature thumbs up pose and with his popular catchphrase ‘It’s nice’ attached, in order to promote their product. Sacha Baron Cohen was not amused with this publicity stunt and his lawyers immediately sent a cease and desist letter to the company, Solar Therapeutics duly removed the billboard as a result. However, things did not end there, Cohen still sought to sue the company. Now though, reports state on Tuesday that a document filed in Boston federal court told that all parties had come to a peaceful conclusion, thus dismissing the case. No settlement was noted in the document.
The charges that Sacha Bron Cohen and his lawyers made against the Solar Therapeutics company included copyright infringement, false advertising, and misappropriation of his right of publicity. According to Cohen and his lawyers, the Massachusetts based company didn’t ask prior to putting up their ill-fated billboard and Cohen himself is far from an advocate for cannabis. It turns out, that Cohen actually is totally against a cannabis-inclusive lifestyle and reportedly his Californian based company Please You Can Touch LLC were seeking a whopping $9 million in damages. Had they been successful in their pursuit of the damages, Solar Therapeutics would have been hit hard financially, so this represents a major win for the cannabis dispensary, and what began as bad publicity has turned positive.
In Sacha Baron Cohen’s case, the lawsuit marks an occasion where the thought-provoking actor wasn’t under fire himself. Often in Cohen’s projects, the actor uses characters and disguises to needle and mock important figures, sometimes getting in trouble himself. For his Showtime series Who is America? the comedy star irked Bernie Sanders so much in an interview that the high-ranking politician threatened to put Cohen in front of Congress. Another interview in Who is America? with failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore saw Moore attempt to throw a $95 million lawsuit at Sacha Baron Cohen. That case was ultimately thrown out.
So it turns out that despite Sacha Baron Cohen’s displeasure toward Solar Therapeutics and their output the two parties perhaps share some common ground in provoking the unwitting or unwilling. On Cohen’s part, the tendency comes from intelligently thought out media that through the method of comedy, profoundly comments on facets of society and culture. On Solar Therapeutics part, they brazenly attempted to get away with using an actor’s image on a freeway billboard and hoped the actor wouldn’t notice. Such a comic misstep will have them counting their lucky stars that over time Cohen and his lawyers decided to drop the case.