Sacha Baron Cohen film outrages UK town

NICK GALVIN
Last updated 16:30 15/07/2014
Sasha Baron Cohen

NOT SO HAPPY: The town of Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

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Residents of the English town of Grimsby have been outraged that their home has been portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen as a rubbish-strewn, violent ghetto in which drunks urinate from windows and mothers hand children cans of beer in the street.

Stills from Baron Cohen's latest movie - called Grimsby - depict the town as an urban hell of boarded-up shops, cars on bricks and football hooliganism.

The Grimsby Telegraph has followed the story keenly and many readers have taken the opportunity to vent their outrage.Ironically, filming is taking place more than 300km from the real Grimsby, in the Essex town of Tilbury. Some Grimsby locals have suggested the crew would not have been safe filming in the real town.

"The problem I have with this man, is that he was welcomed into this town and treated kind and well, he then goes away and then s**ts on the town," said one reader.

"Those who thought this would be good publicity for the area are so wrong," wrote another. "He is taking the piss out of you. All he wanted was the Grim part of Grimsby and anything that looked Grim ... that's how he works. You've been had."

However, others chimed in to say that the fictional Grimsby was on the whole an accurate portrayal of the depressed Lincolnshire town.

Grimsby stars Ali G and Borat star Baron Cohen, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane in a plot that revolves around a spy who is forced to team up with his football hooligan brother, played by Baron Cohen.

Baron Cohen is no stranger to controversy, having upset pretty much the entire nation of Kazakhstan with his Borat movie that depicted the country as backward and bigoted.

However, later reports suggested Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan had actually provided a tourist boost for the nation.

Whether the same effect will spread to Grimsby - long the butt of comedians' jokes - when the film is released in September next year is unclear ... but seems unlikely.

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- The Age

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