Residents of Staines Say Ali G Character Has Stained Their Good Name


STAINES, England —The residents of a British town made famous as the home town of “Ali G,” a fictional character portrayed by comedian Sasha Baron Cohen, want to change the name of the city in order to sever its ties to the suburban gangsta rapper character.

The Proposal, which has the backing of some local officials and business leaders, would change the name of Staines, England, to Staines-upon-Thames, according to the Daily Mail.

In a statement, Mayor Euan O’Hara said, “I do not wish Staines to be associated with Ali G in any way. He didn’t do the town any favors,”

Some residents, like Anne Damerell feel the name change is just “Pretentious nonsense.”

“We’re just a normal place with a normal name, we do not need — gentrifying. If Ali G gets to hear about this, he’ll have a real laugh at us doing something so silly,” she said.

Staines business leader Alex Tribick said that was an unfair picture of a picturesque riverside settlement whose history stretches back to Roman times.

“Ali G did us a favor and put Staines on the map,” Tribick told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “The trouble is, no one knows where on the map it is.”

Some critics say the proposed rebranding would be prohibitively expensive and point out that the proposed name — Staines-upon-Thames — might draw the same kind of ridicule. If the new name were to be approved, maps, street signs and a whole host of other documents would have to be changed.

‘Da Ali G Show” which aired on HBO in 2003-2004 featured a tracksuit-wearing wannabe gangsta who specialized in hip-hop-inflected malapropism.

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