Scott Perry falls victim to Sacha Baron Cohen prank on 'Who is America?'

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
U.S. House Rep. Scott Perry, of District 4, joins Democratic 10th Congressional District candidates George Scott, Shavonia Corbin-Johnson and Alan Howe during a debate at CASA in York City, Saturday, May 12, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Rep. Scott Perry has become the latest Republican politician to be pranked on Showtime's "Who is America?" hosted by Sacha Baron Cohen.

Cohen's face may seem familiar — he starred in movies such as "Borat" and "Bruno," both of which feature R-rated comedy with occasional satirical political commentary.

Perry, R-Carroll Township, came under fire after not only being duped with a fake award from Cohen for being a friend of the state of Israel during the mid-July program but also for boasting about the award on his campaign website for days afterward.

The award, listed as "70 for 70 (Recognizing Friends of Israel)," was credited to a non-existent Israeli outlet called “Yerushalayim Television."

The segment quickly became the punchline of online blogs and news oulets and was most notably followed by the left-leaning news outlet ThinkProgress.

This combination photo shows Sacha Baron Cohen at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on  Jan. 15, 2007, left, and Cohen portraying retired Israeli Colonel Erran Morad in a still from the Showtime series, "Who Is America?" After crafting previous eccentric personas such as Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen has created his most stereotypical character yet in Col. Erran Morad.  (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, left, and Showtime)

Perry's campaign didn't return messages seeking comment, but on Friday, Aug. 3, Perry released a statement on Facebook acknowledging the award was fake while also criticizing media outlets who reported on the prank.

"Our staff keeps a universal list of accomplishments and awards that I’ve been privileged to earn," Perry wrote. "After several attempts to interview me (all declined) for what we discovered was a mockery, this addition clearly got by. We’re human, we made an administrative mistake, and I own it. But reporting this as newsworthy — which it's far from — only further divides us, rewards those who not only try to humiliate in the name of entertainment, but also make a mockery of Israel (one of our closest Allies and of whom I'm a staunch supporter), and detracts from substantive issues that define a stronger community, Commonwealth and Country. I’m in disbelief that we’re actually spending time on this, so I’m just going to keep working on behalf of people who want to see us get stronger, not weaker."

Still, despite the acknowledgment, the fake award sat untouched on Perry's website for days before being removed Tuesday, Aug. 7. 

Perry joins a growing list of Republican politicians who have fallen victim to Cohen's antics.

Others include Jason Spencer, a state representative from Georgia who resigned from his seat after he removed his clothes and yelled racial slurs on the program, and former  U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who appeared on an episode where Cohen used a device allegedly detecting a chemical excreted by pedophiles.

A screenshot from Rep. Scott Perry's campaign website, where a fake award from Showtime's "Who is America?" sat for several days.