A new political satire show called Who is America? has been making waves recently, with several politicians already facing heat after making controversial remarks on the show. Now, a new video of Sacha Baron Cohen scanning Roy Moore with a "pedophile detector" is attracting a great deal of attention. Moore's interview ended in him walking off set after the fake detector kept beeping whenever Cohen scanned the former Senate candidate.
Moore gained national attention late last year when he was running in a special election to fill former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate seat. During his campaign, multiple women came forward to allege that Moore engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with them and/or sexually assaulted them when they were minors. Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations against him, saying in November 2017, "They're not only untrue, but they have no evidence to support them."
According to Moore, the former Senate candidate initially thought he was meeting with Cohen (who was disguised as an Israeli ex-Mossad agent named Col. Erran Morad in the segment) to receive an award for his support of Israel, as Variety reported. In early July, Moore preemptively noted that he believes he was duped into appearing on the show by Cohen. Moore said in a statement (as reported by Variety):
I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate, and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Dick Cheney ... Palin and Walsh have also released statements related to their participation in 'Who Is America?'
Moore also threatened legal action prior to the segment's airing on Sunday. Indeed, Variety also reported that he said in a statement earlier this month, " ... If Showtime airs a defamatory attack on my character, I may very well be involved in another [lawsuit] ..."
Cohen, disguised as Morad, opened the segment by asking about the relationship between the state of Alabama and Israel. He then moved on to reflecting on "technological innovations" in the Israeli army. One of so-called innovations that Cohen proceeded to discuss with Moore was a "pedophile detector." Cohen informed the former Senate candidate that, in Israel, they had developed a machine that "is used in schools and playgrounds to detect anyone coming in. If they detect a pedophile, the wand alerts the law enforcement within a 100-mile radius."
Cohen then picked up the wand and explained to Moore that "because neither of us are sex offenders" it would not make any noise. However, when Cohen "scanned" Moore with the wand, it beeped — and it did not beep when Cohen scanned himself or another person on set. Cohen suggested the wand might be defective.
Cohen proceeded to "scan" Moore again and the wand resumed its beeping. After several more moments of awkward interaction, Moore asserted, "I've been married for 33 years. I've never had an accusation of such things." Cohen replied, "I am not accusing you at all." Moore then continued, "Well, the, if this is an instrument ... It certainly ... I'm not a pedophile ... I don't know, maybe Israeli technology hasn't developed properly."
Moore then told Cohen, who remained in character as Morad throughout the entire segment, that he was leaving the set, with the former candidate saying, "I am simply cutting this conversation right now ... I support Israel, I don't support this kind of stuff."
Clearly Moore was not pleased with the direction of Cohen's interview. It remains to be seen whether he will decide to pursue legal action against Showtime, something he indicated he may be considering earlier this month.