I hadn’t heard of The Brothers Grimsby until roughly 15 minutes ago. I hadn’t watched its trailer until roughly 10 minutes ago. And, if you believe an anonymous source quoted by The Huffington Post Thursday afternoon, that was all by design.

“Three industry sources” told HuffPo the Sacha Baron Cohen film’s anemic promotion is due to a scene in which our future president Donald Trump “accidentally contracts HIV.” Cohen reportedly has final approval over the film, and is refusing Sony’s pleas to have the scene cut. So, because they’re “concerned about the reaction from the real Donald Trump,” they’re hoping it gets completely ignored after release.

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One source told HuffPo “there isn’t one billboard” for the film “anywhere in North America.” The only high-profile attention it appears to be getting is from people like Kim Kardashian, and before that, from Cohen’s comedy friends.

As you’ll recall, Sony has a reason to be worried: it was just last year that they struggled through the controversy over The Interview’s killing of Kim Jong-un, and Trump has a tendency to um, threaten to sue people. Writes HuffPo:

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The film now includes a disclaimer indicating that Trump did not, in fact, participate in making the movie. “If you were told that they’re shying away from the movie because of the political implications, I can tell you that’s 100 percent true,” said a well-placed source.

But who knows! Maybe this is a last-ditch effort to generate buzz about a movie that has been poorly promoted because they realized it’s awful.


Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.