Borat’s Reefer Madness: Sasha Baron Cohen sues weed dispensary for $9 million for using his likeness on stupid billboard

Borat’s Reefer Madness: Sasha Baron Cohen sues weed dispensary for $9 million for using his likeness on stupid billboard

It might be overkill, but Cohen’s point is clear

VicesJuly 14, 2021 By Will Brendza

Sasha Baron Cohen might have made you laugh your ass off as Borat, but that doesn’t mean he won’t sue the shit out of you for using his likeness in an advertisement.

That’s a lesson that the folks at Somerset, Massachusetts-based Solar Therapeutics Inc. are learning the hard way. They thought it would be hilarious to use Borat’s image in a billboard advertisement for their cannabis dispensary. They drafted an ad up on impulse (or perhaps out of laziness): featuring the beloved Kazak-character giving a thumbs up, with the catchphrase “It’s Nice!” beside his picture.

It was probably just a simple highdea that seemed both harmless and hilarious at-the-time. So they paid a billboard company, who put it up along a Massachusetts highway.

Where it was subsequently noticed by Cohen’s people. Who then sent Solar Theraputics a very serious cease-and-desist letter. The billboard came down fast, but it was too late. Baron Cohen had caught wind of their little marketing ploy, and he wasn’t happy about it.

So on Monday his lawyers filed a legal complaint on behalf of Baron Cohen’s company, Please You Can Touch LLC, suing the dispensary — seeking $9 million in damages.

“By use of the billboard, the defendants falsely have conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has endorsed their products and is affiliated with their business,” the complaint reads. “To the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen never has used cannabis in his life. He never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis, for any amount of money.”

We’re still not sure which is more shocking: that the mastermind behind Borat, Bruno and General Aladeen has never used cannabis in his life, or that he’s actually trying to squeeze this dispo for such a staggering amount of money. What is for sure, though, is that Cohen isn’t fucking around — this isn’t some joke — he’s genuinely pissed off. And the owners of Solar Theraputics are probably shitting their pants.