ADL to honor Sacha Baron Cohen for his ‘vision, imagination and creativity’
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ADL to honor Sacha Baron Cohen for his ‘vision, imagination and creativity’

Jewish actor, comedian and director to receive leadership award at group’s annual Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism

Sacha Baron Cohen, star of the Showtime series "Who Is America?" poses before an Emmy For Your Consideration event for the show at Paramount Studios, May 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Sacha Baron Cohen, star of the Showtime series "Who Is America?" poses before an Emmy For Your Consideration event for the show at Paramount Studios, May 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Sacha Baron Cohen will be honored by the Anti-Defamation League for his “vision, imagination and creativity.”

Cohen, who most recently portrayed the late Israeli spy Eli Cohen in a Netflix series, will receive the International Leadership Award during the civil rights organization’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate. The summit will be held Thursday in New York City.

The actor, comedian and director, whose political satire films include “Borat” and “The Dictator,” will deliver a keynote address.

“Baron Cohen has used humor and satire to expose people’s inherent biases by depicting racists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, Islamophobes and others as deeply flawed, ordinary people whose prejudices are, ultimately, laughable,” the ADL said in a statement. “As a celebrity and public figure, he’s not shied away from taking on tough subjects off-screen, having recently spoken out about the failure of social media companies to adequately address the rampant racism, anti-Semitism and hate on their platforms.”

Sacha Baron Cohen as Eli Cohen in “The Spy.” (Netflix screenshot via JTA)

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in the statement that Cohen’s characters “help to expose how common prejudices are in our society and our world.”

“There’s many ways to combat prejudice, and anti-bias education, exposure and awareness are important tools. But there are other, more unorthodox ways to fight hate,” Greenblatt said. “Sacha’s hilarious characters fall into that latter category. They push envelopes. They cross boundaries. They evoke stereotypes and tropes, but for comedic effect.”

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