Justin Seay and Christopher Rotunda, two members of the Chi Psi fraternity at the University of South Carolina, make drunken, misogynist, racist fools of themselves before the camera in "Borat." Just like Borat himself.
They got $200 for their troubles, and a world of embarrassment. Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays Borat, has a film that has taken in $93 million and counting. The frat boys have sued. Their suit will, no doubt, help the film earn even more.
In the whole film, these guys are the only ones who really embarrass the United States. Just about everyone else, I think, could be charged with an excess of politeness in trying to accommodate a rude, possibly clueless stranger.
The most puzzling part of this lawsuit is that Seay and Rotunda say they were told that the documentary would only be shown outside the United States. That, in their minds, makes it ok. Compare this with the storm that greeted the Dixie Chicks for saying that they were embarrassed that President Bush was a fellow Texan, and for saying it in London. If they had said the same thing in Austin, they would have gotten grief from Republicans, but it would have sunken to a minor difference of opinion among Americans.
No, I think Mr. Seay and Mr. Rotunda deserve their fifteen minutes of ignominy. They have, so far, offered no apology for any of their remarks, nor expressed any remorse for embarrassing their families, their fraternity, their university, and their country. Their only gripe is that they were tricked into revealing to their family, friends, and neighbors what they usually only show to their "brothers" – and, presumably, foreigners.