After watching Borat, we wondered which parts of the movie were real and which were staged. We may never know, but now it seems the part where the frat boys pick up a hitchhiking Borat was semi-staged, as the two of the three are suing to stop the movie from showing their images as well as unspecified monetary damages. The fraternity brothers, who have since left or graduated from University of South Carolina, say that they were tricked into participating.
From South Carolina Paper, The State:
The lawsuit claims that in October 2005, a production crew took the students to a bar to drink and “loosen up” before participating in what they were told would be a documentary to be shown outside the United States.
“They were induced to agree to participate and were told the name of the fraternity and the name of their school wouldn’t be used,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Olivier Taillieu. “They were put into an RV and were made to believe they were picking up Borat the hitchhiker.”
After a bout of heavy drinking, the plaintiffs signed a release form they were told “had something to do with reliability issues with being in the RV,” Taillieu said.
The complaint also states, "The funny part is when we, the audience, see how these individuals react to him...The problem, however, is that its success rests on the backs of unsuspecting players. This lawsuit seeks to remedy that." Aw, so they weren't acting like frat boys?
The frat brother who does not seem to be suing, David Corcoran, said earlier, "My first thought was, 'What if my mom finds out?'" All in all, they didn't come off that terribly (in fact, they were sort of sweet when Borat was crying), but maybe we have low expectations of drunk frat boys.
We haven't heard about subway riders upset with their portrayal, though some other people are upset. USA Today looked at what the reactions of various Borat participants were with lots of links to other articles, including the Downtown Express first-person account from a New York artist who appeared in the feminists segment. Unfortunately we do no know what happened to the bear who played Oksana.
We love you, Oksana the bear.