After a whole storm of controversy that was aired out on social media, Sarah Palin's 'Who Is America' appearance might not even be in the final product. According to Showtime president of programming Gary Levine, the segment with Palin might not have made it into the final cut of the episode. To reporters via Deadline, Levine said, All I can say about that is that there are several people who have thrown themselves in front of buses that may not be heading their way."
Levine didn't say anything further. However, he did further clarify that Cohen is "always refining" his final product and that "he has a very high bar." Levine even claims that Cohen has a habit of screening episodes before actual audiences so that he can get an idea for what people are enjoying.
Somewhere in the world, Palin is probably breathing a sigh of relief—or feeling frustrated that she became so publicly upset over something that might never see the light of day.
In the beginning of July, Palin posted a long, emotional monologue to Facebook on her experience being duped by Cohen for his show. Palin wrote, "Yup - we were duped. Ya’ got me, Sacha. Feel better now? I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitive, sick "humor" of the British "comedian" Sacha Baron Cohen, enabled and sponsored by CBS/Showtime."
Palin concluded, "After refusing to take our calls to help get us out of the bind they’d put us in for three days, I wrote this off as yet another example of the sick nature that is media-slash-entertainment today. Feel good and manly about your M.O., Sacha? By the way, my daughter thinks you’re a piece of ****, Sacha. Every honorable American Vet should feel the same."
You can read Palin's full statement via Deadline here. In response to Palin's statement, Showtime released a statement of its own, on behalf of Sasha Baron Cohen. The statement read, "Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair...In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.”
As for Cohen, he didn't respond at all— but his alter-ego, Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., PhD, did, in a tweet directed at Palin. The tweet read, “Here’s the truth @SarahPalinUSA #MAGA #buildthewall #boycottsashacohen, …[I]t was I that interviewed you...I did NOT say I was a War Vet. I was in the service — not military, but United Parcel, and I only fought for my country once — when I shot a Mexican who came onto my property."
The tweet concluded, "You used to hunt the most dangerous animals in the country, like wolves and people on welfare. So why hunt a fine citizen journalist like myself? I DEMAND an APOLOGY.”
Palin described Ruddick's tweet as "another list of unfunny lies." Cohen still has yet to respond.