Cohen sent the donation as thanks for one of its parishioners putting up with him.
If you’ve seen either of the Borat films, you know that Sacha Baron Cohen’s titular character can be rather obnoxious and rude to those around him. In order to keep the reactions to the character authentic, those who are recruited into the film are often not told they’re doing so, which can lead to some awkward moments. But when the cameras are off and the movie’s in the can, Cohen can stow silly accent and show what a kind person he can be, especially to those willing to put up with his antics.
In the new Borat film, one of the main characters is Jeanise Jones, a woman from Oklahoma who is hired to watch Borat’s 15-year-old daughter Tutar (played by Maria Bakalova). Jones was told that she was participating in the filming of a documentary about child marriage, and was genuinely convinced Tutar was going to be married off to an older man. Throughout the movie, she serves a role of kindness and moral grounding against Borat’s obnoxious behavior, which has earned her no shortage of praise from viewers. As a gift to Jones for her participation, Cohen made a $100,000 donation to the Ebenezer Baptist Church where she volunteers. This money will be used to support the local community in the form of food, shelter, and disaster relief.
Pastor Derrick Scobey expressed his gratitude to Cohen, not just for his donation to the church and the community, but for putting Jones, one of his most stalwart volunteers, in the limelight. Due to the pandemic, Jones lost her job, and currently remains unemployed. Scobey started a GoFundMe for her, and thanks to exposure from Borat, it has raised over $146,000 as of writing.
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) October 29, 2020
“I was blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has,” Scobey said about Cohen. “Maybe it’s a little risqué, some of the things in the movie, but he has a good heart.”
Ebenezer Baptist Church is currently aiding Oklahoma residents in the aftermath of a severe ice storm that struck earlier in the week. Cohen’s donation will go a long way in ensuring everyone is cared for.