Daily Beast: Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the International Leadership Award at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate Thursday. And the comedian and actor used his keynote speech to single out the one Jewish-American who he believes is doing the most to facilitate “hate and violence” in America: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
He began with a joke at the Trump administration’s expense. “Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry,” Baron Cohen said, according to his prepared remarks. “And to be clear, when I say ‘racism, hate and bigotry’ I’m not referring to the names of Stephen Miller’s Labradoodles.”
“At times, some critics have said my comedy risks reinforcing old stereotypes,” he admitted, defending himself by explaining, “as a comedian, I’ve tried to use my characters to get people to let down their guard and reveal what they actually believe, including their own prejudice.”
With all of this in mind, Baron Cohen turned to the rise of demagoguery, conspiracy theories and hate crimes around the world, and pointed to what he sees as the most logical explanation for this dangerous trend.
“All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history,” he said.