Six Czech tourists who were arrested and fined 22,500 Tenge each (approx £50) for dressing up as Borat by wearing nothing more than ‘mankinis’ in Astana, Kazakhstan for wearing nothing but mankinis have been given an early christmas present. Sacha Baron Cohen, the British actor behind the Borat character has offered to pay their fines.
On 14 November, local media in Kazakhstan reported that the tourists had been detained for “minor hooliganism” after posing in freezing temperatures and fined for their “indecent” appearance.
After hearing of their plight, Sacha Baron Cohen posted them a message on Facebook, saying “To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I’ll pay your fine.”
This isn’t the first time the film, fully entitled “Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” has been involved in controversy in Kazakhstan, which banned the film and sales of its DVD. Although the sections of the film set in Kazakhstan were mainly filmed in Romania, Kazakh officials felt the movie portrayed the country as a racist, sexist and primitive state. But then, in 2012, six years after the film was released, the Kazakh foreign minister publicly thanked Baron Cohen for boosting tourism in the central Asian state.
Try it in Newquay
You probably don’t know this but in 2012, mankinis and other “inappropriate clothing” were banned in Newquay in an attempt to shed the Cornish seaside town’s stag party reputation. Local Police have been quoted as saying that their zero-tolerance approach to risqué fancy dress was helping the Cornish resort shed its reputation as a stag party haven and helped reduce crime.