Renowned American actor Sean Penn gained attention after he called for a boycott of Oscar Awards 2022 if the Academy vetoes the appearance of the president of Ukraine Volodímir Zelenski in the gala.
In an interview for CNN, Penn argued that the Academy has an obligation to offer the Ukrainian leader a platform to talk about the complex situation in his country after the invasion of Russian military forces.
“There is nothing greater the Academy Awards can do than give Zelensky the chance to speak to all of us.. I understand that the decision has been made not to do so. It is not for me to say whether President Zelensky would have wanted to do it or not… If the Academy has chosen not to listen to the leaders of Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect So 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.” Penn points out.
The actor, who was in the Ukraine filming a documentary when the war broke out and stayed in the country shooting about the Russian invasion, urged guests to boycott the awards ceremony if it is confirmed that the Oscars are refusing to contact Zelensky.
“If, as it seems, he is not going to intervene, I appeal to all the guests, even though I know it is their night, to protest and boycott the awards. This is much more important than a moment to show off. I myself will melt down my statuettes in public.” he told CNN.
“I pray that there have not been arrogant people, who consider themselves representatives of the greater good in my industry, who have decided not to have the leader of Ukraine. So I hope it doesn’t happen. And if it’s the case, I hope everyone leaves”, he pointed out.
So far, the Film Academy has never commented on a possible invitation to the President of Ukraine.
Actor Sean Penn traveled to Ukraine to shoot a documentary and ended up escaping to Poland