LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the esteemed Kazakh television journalist Borat Sagdiyev might say: “High Five. Sexy Time. You Lose.”
Two college fraternity buddies shown guzzling alcohol and making racist remarks in the “Borat” movie have lost their bid for a court order to cut the scene they claim has tarnished their reputations, court papers revealed on Monday.
The students sued the movie’s distributor and producers last month, saying filmmakers had duped them into appearing in “Borat” by getting them drunk and falsely promising the film would never be shown in the United States.
At the time the suit was filed, a judge denied the pair’s request for a temporary restraining order that would remove footage of them from the film, but the plaintiffs were given a another chance to seek an injunction at a hearing last week.
The South Carolina college students lost again when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph Biderman ruled they had failed to show a reasonable probability of success on the merits of their case or that money damages alone would be insufficient to resolve their claims.
Arguments on the latest motion focused mainly on the future DVD release of the hit movie, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”
The faux documentary, distributed by 20th Century Fox, has already grossed more than $120 million at the North American box office after six weeks in theaters.
The lawyer for the students, Olivier Taillieu, said last week that while the film’s theatrical run is coming to a close, the perpetuity of the film on DVD posed ongoing problems for his clients, including harm to their ability to seek work.
Last month, Taillieu said the movie had cost one of the students a job at a major corporation and another a prestigious internship. The students were identified in court papers only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2. A third student involved in the scene did not take part in the suit.
The film stars British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as a fictional Kazakh TV journalist whose boorish sensibilities clash with ordinary Americans. The story line is driven by a series of improvised encounters with people who become Baron Cohen’s unsuspecting foils.
The scene at issue in the lawsuit depicts Borat getting drunk with three frat boys in a motor home while they watch a sex tape and make racist remarks about slavery and minorities in the United States.
20th Century Fox is a unit of News Corp.