Borat Sagdiyev is a satirical fictional character, created and performed by the Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Borat's stated sense of humour derives from his mocking of society through outrageous sociocultural viewpoints, his violation of social taboos, and use of vulgar language and behaviour.
Sagdiyev is a fictional Kazakh journalist and is the main protagonist of the 2006 film Borat!: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Much of the film features allegedly unscripted vignettes of Borat interviewing and interacting with Americans, who believe he is a foreigner with little or no understanding of American customs.
Controversy surrounded the film. Various participants criticized it and even took legal action. Various groups and countries also criticized it and various governments banned or discouraged viewing of it. Almost all Arab countries have banned it.
Before the release of the film, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a statement expressing concern over Borat's characteristic anti-Semitism. Both Baron Cohen and the ADL have stated that the film uses the title character to expose prejudices felt or tolerated by others, but the ADL expressed concern that some audiences might remain oblivious to this aspect of the film's humor, while "some may even find it reinforcing their bigotry".
The film had particular success in Israel, maybe because Israeli filmgoers understand what Borat is really saying when he is supposedly spouting Kazakh: throughout the film, Borat speaks fluent Hebrew.