Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Avatar Spoof Pulled from the Oscars

It’s pretty safe to say at this point that James Cameron’s Avatar is a cultural touchstone. It’s the highest-grossing film of all time, it’s up for nine Oscars, it’s inspired a heap of merchandise there’s already talk of sequels. Like any phenomenon, it’s ripe for parody, right? Well, apparently not at the Academy Awards, which air March 7 on ABC.

Vulture reports that Ben Stiller and Sacha Baron Cohen were planning a skit lampooning the blockbuster film and its “King of the World” director, but the send-up was canceled yesterday. While Baron Cohen was announced as a presenter last week, his name has been removed from the list. Why? An insider said that one of the telecast producers was worried that Cameron would be offended.

According to the article, Baron Cohen was to appear as a female Na’vi (Pandora’s nine-foot-tall blue inhabitants), with Stiller acting as her interpreter. She would reveal that she’s pregnant with Cameron’s love child and confront the director. The skit sounds pretty lame, and not quite as clever as Baron Cohen’s usual stunts, but I guess it’s something we would have to actually see to judge properly.

An Oscars insider told Vulture that Cameron doesn’t really have a sense of humor about things like this. “Let’s just say that Cameron isn’t known to be, shall we say, ‘self-deprecating,’” they explained.

Oh really? Then why did Cameron appear in a Saturday Night Live skit in January that essentially spoofed all of his films, including Avatar, in one fell swoop? Did a producer got skittish for absolutely no reason?

Watch the skit, “Laser Cats 5,” below.

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