RIVERSIDE (CBSLA/AP) — A Riverside gun store has released surveillance video that apparently shows actor Sacha Baron Cohen – disguised as a “Hungarian immigrant” – unsuccessfully attempting to purchase a firearm last year.
Warrior One Guns And Ammo located at 2222 Kansas Avenue was apparently targeted by the “Borat” star in advance of his new Showtime series “Who Is America?” in February 2017.
Employees appeared to catch the whole incident on video when a man believed to be Cohen came into the store accompanied by a camera crew.
The crew reportedly informed owner Norris Sweidan they were filming a documentary about a “Hungarian immigrant wanting to buy a gun”.
Surveillance video of the encounter appeared to show employees pointing at the actor and saying, “You’re ‘Borat’,” according to Warrior One’s Facebook video. (WARNING: explicit language, use discretion)
“I’m listening to his accent, and I’m like, that s–t doesn’t sound real,” said Sweidan.
When one of the employees identifies him as Cohen, the disguised man is seen quickly turning and exiting the store.
The rest of the film crew was then told to leave as well, Sweidan told reporters.
In the new show “Who Is America?,” Baron Cohen dons various prosthetic disguises and accents in an attempt to embarrass figures on the political right and left, include apparent support from Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrbacher and others for a (nonexistent) program that would arm toddlers.
There was no immediate confirmation of the incident from either Showtime or Cohen.
The network recently pushed back against allegations the comedian duped guests on his new show by posing as a disabled veteran.
The network said Monday in a statement that Baron Cohen “did not present himself as a disabled veteran” or wear any military apparel when he met with Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Palin last week on Facebook complained that Baron Cohen “heavily disguised himself” as a disabled U.S. veteran in a wheelchair when she was “duped” into an interview. She challenged Baron Cohen and Showtime to donate proceeds from the show to a veterans’ charity.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)