American filmmaker Sean Penn on Sunday called for a boycott of the Oscars if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky does not make a speech. Outraged, he claimed that he would melt down the statuettes of him in protest.
The possibility that the Ukrainian leader intervenes in the gala has been considered for a week, after the humorist Amy Schumer, one of the presenters of the ceremony, pointed out the responsibility of the Oscars when it comes to giving Zelensky a voice. However, it was never made official and neither the Academy nor the Ukrainian government confirmed his presence.
Now, the actor and activist, who was on the ground last month in Ukraine filming a documentary about the Russian invasion, denounced that the Ukrainian president is the victim of a veto by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards prestigious prizes.
During an appearance on CNN he sent an ultimatum to the organizers: Approve Zelensky’s invitation or face a possible boycott.
“If the Academy has chosen not to do it, if the presenters have chosen not to look at the leaders of Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect, then I think every one of those people And every part of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history.”he told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
And I add: “I would encourage everyone involved, even if they want to celebrate their films, to protest and boycott the Academy Awards. And myself, if the case arises, when I return”.
Penn, who has best actor awards for the films “Mystic River” (2003) and “Milk” (2008), advanced: I will melt them [mis premios] in public”.
The statuettes are solid bronze and 24 karat gold plated.
Penn has more than once denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine as “a most horrible mistake for all mankind.” In fact, on his trip to the Ukraine, met with the Ukrainian president and described him as a “historical symbol of courage and principles.”
“Ukraine is the spearhead of the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow her to fight alone, our soul as America is lost,” she said in a statement to Washington Post last month.
Russia is facing a widespread reaction from the West. More than 380 companies have announced they will withdraw, scale back or pause operations in Russia since the invasion began in late February, according to a Yale School of Management database. This month, in a historic move, the International Chess Federation withdrew the tournaments from Russia and Belarus. Days later, he banned entry to one of the best chess players in the world for publicly expressing his support for Putin.
Washington Post remember that Penn has a long history of involvement in international affairs. He is known for his political activism and his humanitarian work around the world, including relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the major floods in Pakistan in 2012.
The actor told CNN in 2011 that his anti-war stance stemmed from watching the Vietnam War on television with his siblings as a child. “I grew up in a family that opposed [a la guerra]”, said.
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Sean Penn called for a boycott of the 2022 Oscars if they veto an appearance by Zelensky: “I will melt down my statuettes myself”