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Sacha Baron Cohen (and Ryan Seacrest) steal Oscar spotlight: How did you feel about ‘The Dictator’ stunt?

Sacha Baron Cohen got exactly what he wanted at the Oscars, as he successfully pulled off an attention-grabbing publicity stunt to promote his upcoming film, “The Dictator.”

To recap: After much (manufactured) hubbub, Baron Cohen showed up to the Oscars red carpet dressed as Adm. Gen. Aladeen, the fictional leader of the Republic of Wadiya. The “Hugo” actor, who looked a bit like Moammar Gaddafi in a white military uniform decked out in flashy accoutrements, proceeded to say outrageous things while carrying an urn containing “the ashes” of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Baron Cohen’s grand finale involved pouring said “ashes” on E!’s Ryan Seacrest and being forcefully removed from the carpet.

The moment was perhaps the only surprise of the night, but it’s divided viewers. Let’s run down reactions to the moment below.

View photo gallery: Highlights from the 84th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Yea-ish: “30 Rock’s” Tina Fey played along with the stunt, bowing to “the ashes” that had been scattered on the red carpet.

Actress Tina Fey bows reverently before the fake ashes of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, dispersed by Sacha Baron Cohen. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Yea: “Community” star and “Soup” host Joel McHale told MTV, “I thought it was funny and Ryan played along very well. . . . He’s unflappable.”

Nay: CNN’s Piers Morgan hated it.

Sacha Baron Cohen sprays Kim Jong-il’s ashes over @ryanseacrest at the #Oscars - just another day in Hollywood.

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 27, 2012

This is just not funny. At all. Really. @RyanSeacrest #ribsgoneintoconvulsions

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 27, 2012

Yea: “E! News” co-host Giuliana Rancic liked the moment so much she was jealous. “Do you know how lucky you are?” Rancic told Seacrest as he brushed the powder from his tux. “My dream would be to be a part of that.”

“Fashion Police” co-host Kelly Osbourne enjoyed it as well: “I’m sorry @ryanseacrest this was the moment of the night!”

Nay: Most of the 75-plus comments on Celebritology’s original post on Baron Cohen are negative.

Yea: But there were commenters who enjoyed it, like photog123: “This was and will be the very best part of the entire Oscars. And Seacrest should be happy with all the attention he’ll get this week since he’s been coasting on no talent for years now. Sacha Baron Cohen once again proves that the more uppity the subject the funny it is to trash.”

Nay(?): Seacrest addressed the bit on his morning radio show Monday. It wasn’t clear how he felt about being the unwitting accomplice to the stunt.

“I definitely did not know” it was coming, Seacrest said. “I was surprised, but not surprised.” Luckily, he explained, his mother had told him when he was a young reporter to always bring a second jacket.

“I will tell you that because I was watching my carbohydrate intake all week, I’m just sure it was pancake mix,” he joked of the urn’s contents. Oh, the irony.

What side do you fall on, Celebritology reader? Are you for or against the stunt? Tell us in the comments.


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