British shock comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has angered government officials and residents in the town of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, in the U.K. by hiring “fat women” to play the roles of some of the townspeople in an upcoming comedy about the town’s soccer team.
The film, titled Grimsby, will fictitiously follow the town’s fanatical soccer fans, who include Baron Cohen and, according to a report, some “enormous” handpicked actresses, who will represent the town’s female fan base.
“The gang of supporters from Grimsby are all enormous and revolting,” Maurice Maree, who worked on the film, told The Sunday Times.
It appears the English town is in for the “Borat treatment,” and some local officials are refusing to remain quiet on the matter.
“Why pick on us? There are other places where obesity is a problem where they’ve got a rough deal. Why is Grimsby picked on all the time?” Austin Mitchell, a local politician told Mail Online.
I know it’s a joke but I haven’t seen these fat ladies anywhere – if they were so fat they wouldn’t fit through the turnstiles at the stadium. You can find fat ladies anywhere, we don’t have an accumulation of them. We have the problems of a town which needs more development and jobs and it’s lost its basic industry.
“That’s something to be helped and not made fun of. It creates a very damaging image,” Mitchell concluded.
“It is using the town’s name in potentially a poor light. What also worries me is that there is no benefit to the local economy which is carrying the town’s name,” Councilor Matthew Brown also told Mail Online. “Anything that you associate with football hooliganism is going to be negative, but I hope people will be open-minded when they watch the film.”
Rebel Wilson, made famous for her characters in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, will play a character named “Fat Amy,” a fan of Grimsby Town FC, in the film.
Rebel was reportedly spotted kissing Baron Cohen in one scene, while his wife, Isla Wilson, observed.
Grimsby will be released in the United States on July 31.