Saturday, June 27, 2009


By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer LA Newspaper Group/Daily News

Updated: 06/26/2009 10:26:18 PM PDT

This is one of the GQ photos of Sasha Baron Cohen's Bruno character posing with members of the Birmingham High School football team. (Photo: Mark Seliger)

Los Angeles Unified officials are demanding answers after "Bruno" star Sacha Baron Cohen and the Birmingham High football team appeared in provocative poses shot on campus for a racy GQ magazine photo spread.

The photos, which appear on the GQ Web site, show Cohen in a skimpy red swimsuit and athletic cup, seemingly working out with the student athletes. In one shot, the scantily clad star of the irreverent comedy is posed atop an athlete who is doing a push-up.

"I hold the principal and the athletic director accountable, and I have asked the local district superintendent to take appropriate action," LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said Friday.

District officials said Principal Marsha Coates and Athletic Director Richard Prizant were aware of the photo shoot. Coates declined to comment on the photos, and Prizant could not be reached.




Sasha Baron Cohen's Brüno posing with football players from Birmingham High for GQ

Jean Brown, the local district superintendent for the west San Fernando Valley, said she was talking with Birmingham officials.

"We are exploring the consequences and hope to make a determination soon," Brown said.

"Permission was obtained from the athletic director, who is the school's point person for Film LA," the agency that coordinates film productions in the city, she said.

"Ultimately, the principal is responsible."

"Bruno," which debuts next Friday, stars Cohen as a flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter and is rated R for sexual content. Universal Pictures, which is releasing the movie, did not return phone calls.

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