In the spirit of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s previous films, such as “Borat” and “Ali G,” his latest project “Grimsby” is already offending people. Named after an actual northern English town called Grimsby, Cohen plays a local soccer hooligan whose brother is a spy in the film that portrays the town as a rundown cesspool.
— Teaser-Trailer.com (@teasertrailer) July 16, 2014
A Grimsby businessman tells The Guardian:
“They made Grimsby out to be a terrible and dirty place to live, it’s not… I’ve lived here all my life, it’s an up-and-coming area and I’m not pleased this is the way the world will get their first and maybe only look at Grimsby. This area has a hell of lot going for it and it’s disappointing to see what they have done.”
Others are upset to be tied with the outrageous behavior of hooliganism. Matthew Brown, an official from Lincolnshire County, where Grimsby is located, told The Guardian:
“Anything that you associate with football hooliganism is going to be negative, but I hope people will be open-minded when they watch the film. My view is quite simple. We don’t have a massive issue with hooliganism. Sacha Baron Cohen visited the area when he watched Grimsby Town [Football Club] and I understand the fans treated him well. We cannot comment until we have watched the film. But I hope those fans are not abused.”
Little did they know at the time, it seems…
— Grimsby Town FC (@officialgtfc) October 9, 2013
Ironically, though, “Grimsby” is not actually being filmed in Grimsby, but several hundred miles away in the Essex County town of Tilbury. Residents there are a lot less bothered, by the stereotypes, despite their town being the actual setting. Bethany Casey, a 19-year-old local, told the Thurrock Gazette:
“I’d been away for two weeks and came back last night so confused because all the shops had changed and said Grimsby on them — I thought I was drunk. [I] noticed a rundown park had sprung up, but I didn’t think anything of it because, if they did put a new park in Tilbury, it would get wrecked straight away.”
Hmm, maybe Cohen should just rename it Tilbury then.