Today was a good day for comedians everywhere — you can now make fun of your ex in performances without fear of getting crushed in court.
A California appeals court ruled that Sacha Baron Cohen did not act in a defamatory fashion when he made fun of his ex in a 2004 episode of the “Ali G Show.”
From the Appellate Court’s decision:
During one episode of the program originally broadcast on August 15, 2004 (episode), Ali G interviewed Gore Vidal (Vidal) regarding the United States Constitution and Amendments thereto. In the course of that discussion, Ali G referred to appellant by her full name, stating: “Ain’t it better sometimes, to get rid of the whole thing rather than amend it [the Constitution]? Cos like me used to go out with this bitch called [appellant’s name] and she used to always trying [to] amend herself. Y’know, get her hair done in highlights, get like tattoo done on her batty crease, y’know, have the whole thing shaved–very nice but it didn’t make any more difference. She was still a minger and so, y’know me had enough and once me got her pregnant me said alright, laters, that is it. Ain’t it the same with the Constitution?”
Cohen’s ex sued for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, fraud, breach of contract, negligence, negligent misrepresentation and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The court, however, ruled Ali G’s statements were not defamatory and that “To hold otherwise would run afoul of the First Amendment and chill the free speech rights of all comedy performers and humorists, to the genuine detriment of our society.”
Hear hear. Would you want to live in a society where you couldn’t make fun of your ex’s “batty crease?”
H/T THR, Esq.