Sacha Baron Cohen has filed a lawsuit against cannabis company Solar Therapeutics alleging that it is using its borate personality to promote its medical marijuana brand in Massachusetts.
TMZ reports that Baron Cohen is upset by a giant billboard that was parked next to the highway with the face of the fictional Kazakh journalist next to the phrase “It’s beautiful”. In legal documents, the actor / comedian says he has no connection with the company.
“By using the billboard, the defendants have falsely conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen endorses their products and is connected to their business,” wrote attorney David Condon in the complaint via The Hollywood Reporter. “On the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen has never used cannabis in his life. He would never take part in an advertising campaign for cannabis, at no cost. “
The Hollywood Reporter adds that Baron Cohen claims he has turned down “countless opportunities” to associate with a corporate brand because he believes it undermines his credibility as an actor and social activist. Also, based on his legal representative’s comments both above and below this paragraph, it sounds like a cannabis business would be way down the list if they partnered with a company.
“With his ‘Ali G’ character, played by Mr Baron Cohen on the HBO television series Da Ali G Show, Mr Baron Cohen has spent much of his career mocking the ‘stoner’ culture – a culture that the Defendants Billboard openly celebrates, ”Condon continued. “In addition, Mr. Baron Cohen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family; he is an observant Jew; and it is proud of its cultural heritage. He does not want to join the heated controversy in the Orthodox Jewish community about whether cannabis can be used according to Jewish traditions, customs and rules. “
A cease and desist letter from Baron Cohen’s attorney reportedly resulted in the company tearing down the billboard but not being awarded any compensation.
Baron Cohen is seeking $ 9 million in damages for copyright infringement, false advertising, and misappropriation of his publication rights, and is calling on the court to prevent Solar Therapeutics from using his name, image, and likeness to sell its products.
While you probably won’t (completely understandable), you can read the full complaint here.