'Borat 2': Kazakhs Launch Petition to Cancel 'Racist' Movie

Borat 2 (or Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) has been making people laugh across the world this weekend, but not everyone is pleased with the events of the Amazon Prime Video movie. Residents of Kazakhstan and Kazakhs around the world are torn over whether Borat (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) is a racist caricature, or a caricature of a racist caricature, a necessary evil to highlight the racism of those the film is satirizing.

At least 110,000 people, however, think the former. As soon as Amazon released a trailer for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm in early October, a petition was launched on Avaaz titled, "Why Borat 2 should be canceled," which has since been signed by (at time of writing) 110,208 people.

The description of this Borat 2 petition reads in part: "This movie is full of racism and xenophobia. They completely desecrate and humiliate Kazakhstan and the dignity of Kazakh nation.

"If the film was made about a country that the author himself came up with. But no, this movie makes fun of a real country where real people live. This film creates a new problem for the citizens of such a great country with a great history. Every time we have to give explanations to foreigners that this film was made as a joke."

borat 2 kazakhstan
'Borat 2' has been criticised by some Kazkhs as a racist depiction of their home country. Getty

Kazakhs have been taking to Twitter to decry what they see as the racism of the character. In response to Newsweek's piece about the changing Kazakhstani reaction to Borat throughout the years, on user wrote: "We are not happy being racially abused and our culture appropriated for profit. We are not happy that white privilege has such a double standard. What Cohen is doing is Asian blackface, yet he is enabled by Amazon and millions of fans who are none the wiser."

Other Kazakh Twitter users have been equally critical. For example, one wrote: "Borat is fine as long as you don't live in eastern europe. If you do it's not. It's just outrageous and racist (as most westerners are towards us). Imagine the same film about Blacks/Jews."

Another tweeted: "Borat is a piece of s***, when I was working the US everyone were making jokes about me being Kazakh.When I visit Europe, people know about my country only from this movie. It's humiliating to answer these questions, like yes, my country is real, no, we r not the same as it shown."

Previously, Cohen has defended his use of Kazakhstan as the country Borat is from. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2006, for example, he said: "I always had faith in the audience that they would realize that this was a fictitious country and the mere purpose of it was to allow people to bring out their own prejudices.

"And the reason we chose Kazakhstan was because it was a country that no one had heard anything about, so we could essentially play on stereotypes they might have about this ex-Soviet backwater. The joke is not on Kazakhstan.

"I think the joke is on people who can believe that the Kazakhstan that I describe can exist—who believe that there's a country where homosexuals wear blue hats and the women live in cages and they drink fermented horse urine and the age of consent has been raised to nine years old."

One Kazakh Twitter user seemed to agree with Cohen when they tweeted his take on Subsequent Moviefilm: "I used to hear a lot of jokes when I was abroad about Borat and Kazakhstan. Now I don't take it serious, but it says a lot about the joker. That's the criteria for identifying idiots."

Borat 2 is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.