LOS ANGELES — The filmmakers behind "Bruno" have decided to delete a scene involving La Toya Jackson following her brother's death.
Universal Pictures, which is releasing the comedy, said the decision came "out of respect for the Jackson family."
The moment was first cut out of the movie's Los Angeles premiere Thursday night, which took place just hours after the Michael Jackson's death at age 50.
"Bruno," starring British comic Sacha Baron Cohen as a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion correspondent, is set to come out July 10 and is the follow-up to his 2006 smash "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." La Toya Jackson had been featured in an absurd interview with Bruno in which she sits on a Mexican man's back and eats sushi off a second, naked Mexican man.
The moment is classic Baron Cohen, the kind in which he places some unsuspecting person in a weirdly deadpan situation and waits for the humiliation _ and the humor _ to follow. He also tries to interview Paula Abdul in this setting but she quickly feels uncomfortable and leaves. (The joke's on the audience, too, because we don't know which scenes are real and spontaneous and which feature players who are in on the gag.)
Jackson arrives at a contemporary L.A. home under the guise of being interviewed by Bruno, a character Baron Cohen introduced alongside Borat on his sketch comedy program "Da Ali G Show." Because there's no furniture in the house, Bruno asks Jackson to sit on the back of a Mexican laborer, who's on his hands and knees functioning as a chair. Another man serves as a table with pieces of sushi spread across his naked body.
Jackson hangs out awhile and politely banters with Bruno, who asks whether she will introduce him to her brother, Michael. She tries to deflect his persistent requests but relents when he asks to see her cell phone _ then he finds what is supposedly Michael Jackson's number and reads it to his assistant in German.