Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has defended his controversial creation Borat, saying he is a tool to reveal racism.
Hit comedy Borat has provoked outrage in many countries
Baron Cohen dropped his alter ego for the first time since the Borat film was released, for an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
"The joke is not on Kazakhstan," he said. "I think the joke is on people who can believe that the Kazakhstan that I describe can exist."
The film has topped the box office for a second week in both the US and UK.
The film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, has a naive yet enthusiastic Kazakh reporter meeting with people across the United States.
It has upset some because of Borat's anti-semitic, sexist and racist comments. A pair of US students are suing the film studio, 20th Century Fox, claiming they were duped into appearing in the film.
But Cohen - a practising Jew - said the film ridiculed what people were prepared to believed about other cultures.
"Borat works essentially as a tool," the former Ali G star said.
"By himself being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice, whether it's anti-Semitism or an acceptance of anti-Semitism."
He added: "I think part of the movie shows the absurdity of holding any form of racial prejudice, whether it's hatred of African-Americans or of Jews."