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Showtime defends Baron Cohen comedy

Showtime has defended Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy Who Is America? against claims that he made fun of a disabled veteran.

Critics, including Sarah Palin, said that Baron Cohen posed as a wounded military veteran during a segment, which premiered in the US on Sunday and UK last night.

“Baron Cohen did not present himself as a disabled veteran, and viewers nationwide who watched the premiere on Sunday can now attest to that,” a Showtime spokesperson said in a statement.

“In Sunday’s episode, during an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders, Baron Cohen in character as Dr Ruddick was asked by the Senator if he is disabled, and he stated that he is not and uses a mobility scooter to conserve his energy.

“In addition, Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the US military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.”

Baron Cohen’s character, Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr PhD, is rather an online conspiracy theorist, according to Showtime.

The statement arrived after rightwing artist Sabo depicted Baron Cohen as an amputee in a wheelchair and added the statement: Sacha Baron Cohen walks away with a hit…and a touch of stolen valor.”