Sacha Baron Cohen has warned against the promotion of conspiracy theories, insisting they are “lethal to our health and to our democracy”.
Cohen has published an essay in Time magazine revealing he felt compelled to speak out because democracy is: “being destroyed by a flood of hate, lies and conspiracies… spread by social media”.
“This toxic brew has exploded into the open and – with just weeks until the (U.S.) election – these conspiracies threaten to kill democracy as we know it,” Cohen, who is set to reprise his iconic role as Kazakhstani newsman Borat in a new sequel, explained.
“Using unhinged lies and conspiracies to gain power and subjugate others is, of course, nothing new,” he added, before insisting the presidential election “is a uniquely dangerous moment”.
“Donald Trump – who averages 23 lies a day and is the world’s greatest superspreader of coronavirus conspiracies – has caught the virus himself,” Cohen wrote.
“(He) clearly believes that his only hope for political survival is to spin an alternate universe: Beijing deliberately spread the ‘Chinese virus,’ we’re told, ‘Don’t be afraid of COVID,’ and the election is ‘rigged’ unless states ‘get rid of’ mail-in ballots,” he continued.
“For his supporters, Trump is the authority figure whose cues they will follow,” the actor predicted.
“With his history of inciting violence and emboldening militias and white-supremacist groups and dozens of cases where his supporters have attacked innocent people in his name, we’d have to be the real fools not to see the perils ahead,” he warned.
Calling out Facebook officials for failing to block “disinformation” advertised on the site, Cohen went on: “Conspiracies are lethal – to our health and to our democracy – and Election Day is now only weeks away. Even as Trump is being treated for Covid-19, he continues to rage-tweet lies and conspiracy theories so fast, it’s virtually impossible to correct them all.”
Referencing his role as protest icon Abbie Hoffman in new movie The Trial of the Chicago 7, he observed: “The fate of U.S. democracy now rests with voters and whether they stand up in record numbers and choose truth over lies. As protesters outside the 1968 Democratic convention chanted after they were brutally beaten by police, ‘The whole world is watching’ – and this time it’s to see whether our planet’s oldest democracy will endure or slide into autocracy.”
This content was originally published here.