The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has dropped controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen from the Oscar telecast because an Avatar spoof he planned to deliver with Ben Stiller was deemed too risky, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The report said that the sketch called for Cohen to appear as a blue skinned female of the Na'vi people, who rips open her evening gown to reveal she is pregnant. The character then confronts Avatar director James Cameron as the father.
The report said that Oscar producer Bill Mechanic feared that Cameron would not enjoy the dig, and asked Cohen to change it.
The report said that the Academy had confirmed that Cohen was no longer on the presenters' list, while a spokesman for the comedian confirmed that he had experienced "creative differences" with the academy.
The 82nd annual Oscars are scheduled for Sunday night, with Avatar and The Hurt Locker leading the nominations with nine nods apiece.