Boston Herald

HEY, BO­RAT, DON’T IN­SULT MY KID!

Kazakh or­phans’ adop­tive par­ents hit mock­u­men­tary

- By LAURA CRIMALDI Entertainment · Kazakhstan · United States of America · Sacha Baron Cohen · Pamela Anderson · College Station · Texas · Bar Harbor · Maine · Saxon, WI · Northgate, TX · Bar Harbor, ME · Boxford, MA

The adop­tive par­ents of kids from Kaza­khstan have a mes­sage for “Bo­rat” Sagdiyev, the car­toon­ishly crude Cen­tral Asian char­ac­ter from a hot new movie mock­u­men­tary: their ba­bies don’t hail from a coun­try of ugly, hairy, horse-urine-swill­ing an­ti­Semites.

“It’s com­pletely in­ac­cu­rate,” said Susan Saxon, ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Prov­i­dence­based Kazakh Aul of the U.S. As­so­ci­a­tion for Amer­i­can & Kazakh Fam­i­lies. “It’s a beau­ti­ful coun­try with won­der­ful peo­ple. They don’t drink horse urine and the women are beau­ti­ful.”

With yes­ter­day’s re­lease of “Bo­rat: Cul­tural Learn­ings of Amer­ica for Make Ben­e­fit Glo­ri­ous Na­tion of Kaza­khstan,” Amer­i­cans are be­ing in­tro­duced to the bristly-headed Bo­rat, an oafish “re­porter” from a back­ward home­land where let­ting women ride in a bus counts as so­cial progress.

Bo­rat is played by Bri­tish co­me­dian Sasha Baron Co­hen. Ap­pear­ing in the char­ac­ter of Bo­rat, Co­hen re­cently spoke on CNN about Bo­rat’s cross-coun­try pur­suit (in the movie) of volup­tuous Amer­i­can sex sym­bol Pamela An­der­son.

“She’s un­like any Kazakh wo­man I had ever seen,” the Bo­rat char­ac­ter said. “Pamela only had teeth that grow in the inside of her mouth and she had more hair on her head than on her back.”

Those and other deroga­tory state­ments from Bo­rat’s pub­lic­ity blitz are up­set­ting par­ents of the once-or­phaned Kazakh chil­dren.

Amanda Clegg, 7, of Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas, burst into tears when she heard Bo­rat go on VH1 and say Kaza­khstan is not a good coun­try for adop­tion. “It’s hurt­ful to young kids who don’t get satire,” said her mother, Susan. “She knows she’s from Kaza­khstan. It’s not some- thing we try to hide.”

Ali­cia Rid­dell of Bar Har­bor, Maine, adopted her daugh­ter from Kaza­khstan when she was 4. Now 9, the girl was at home with her fam­ily when she heard Kaza­khstan men­tioned on TV and ran into the room. What the girl saw next was an in­ter­view with Bo­rat in which he said would not want to marry a Kazakh wo­man be­cause they are ugly, her mother said. “She kept say­ing, ‘Why is he be­ing mean to the Kazakh peo­ple?’ ” said Rid­dell.

Par­ents of Kazakh chil­dren worry that Bo­rat could be­come a last­ing cul­tural phe­nom­e­non.

“I think that would be hard to hear: ‘You never want to adopt from Kaza­khstan,’ ” said Jill Upde­graph of Box­ford, who adopted her daugh­ter, Darya, 4, from Kaza­khstan in 2003. “We don’t know how it’s go­ing to hit them at dif­fer­ent stages of their life.”

 ??  ?? ‘BO­RAT’
‘BO­RAT’
 ?? STAFF PHOTO BY TIM COR­REIRA ?? BUILD­ING BLOCKS: Box­ford par­ent Jill Upde­graph is up­set about the pos­si­ble neg­a­tive ef­fects of a mock­u­men­tary that makes fun of Kaza­khstan, her adop­tive daugh­ter Darya’s na­tive coun­try.
STAFF PHOTO BY TIM COR­REIRA BUILD­ING BLOCKS: Box­ford par­ent Jill Upde­graph is up­set about the pos­si­ble neg­a­tive ef­fects of a mock­u­men­tary that makes fun of Kaza­khstan, her adop­tive daugh­ter Darya’s na­tive coun­try.

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