Updated Mar 9, 2023, 11:18am EST
North America

The Oscars say no — again — to Zelenskyy’s request to appear: report

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link on the day of the first anniversary of Russia's attack on Ukraine.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

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The News

For the second year in a row, the Oscars have rejected a request from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to appear during the award show’s broadcast, Variety reported Thursday.

Zelenskyy has appeared virtually at several high-profile award shows since his country was invaded by Russia a year ago, telling attendees and viewers about the importance of supporting Ukraine.

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Know More

Variety reported that Hollywood agent Mike Simpson asked the Academy to include a virtual Zelenskyy appearance on the broadcast, but he was turned down.

Last year, Oscars producer Will Packer also reportedly rejected a proposed Zelenskyy appearance.

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Step Back

Zelenskyy has made appearances at the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and both the Cannes and Venice film festivals.

He is also currently in possession of an Oscars statuette: Actor Sean Penn, a staunch supporter of Ukraine, visited Kyiv in November and gifted one of his Oscars to Zelenskyy, telling him: "I'll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here."

(Penn previously said that he would smelt his Oscars in public if Zelenskyy wasn't on the program for last year's show.)

The Variety report noted that the Academy tends to stay out of political discussions and focus on filmmaking.

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