Oscars Reject Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Offer to Appear on TV (EXCLUSIVE)

Over the past year, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been welcomed with open arms by award ceremonies, film festivals and even the New York Stock Exchange. But when it comes to snagging airtime on the most coveted TV show of all – the Oscars – the Ukrainian leader gets the cold shoulder.

For the second year in a row, the Academy has snubbed Zelenskyy, who had hoped to continue his Berlin Film Festival (remotely). performance last month with a virtual spot on Sunday’s Oscars show on ABC. Sources say WME power agent Mike Simpson asked the academy to take in the comedian-actor-turned-politician but was shut down. The Academy declined to comment.

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Zelenskyj’s overture to the Oscars is coming as surveys show American support for providing aid to Ukraine has waned.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Zelenskyy appeared via satellite at both the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals and the Grammy Awards, and practically rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange in September. At the Golden Globes in January Sean Penn introduced Zelenskyjwho reiterated his message of the last 12+ months that Ukraine will win the war against Russia and applauded “the free people of the free world – those who have united in support of the free Ukrainian people”.

Simpson was brought in because he represents Aaron Kaufman, who co-directed the Zelenskyy documentary Superpower with Penn debuted at the Berlin Film Festival in February. During various press events for the film, Penn called on the US government to increase its military support to Ukraine, including “the supply and delivery of long-range precision missiles.” In December, Zelenskyy visited the US to meet with President Biden and urge Congress to send more military aid to Ukraine.

But not everyone agrees with giving Zelenskyi more airtime. Last year Oscars producer Will Packer nixed a Zelenskyy appearance. According to sources, Packer expressed concerns that Hollywood is only showering Ukraine with attention because those affected by the conflict are white. In contrast, Hollywood has ignored wars around the world affecting people of color, he argued. Packer did not respond to a request for comment. It’s unclear what the reasons behind the rejection of this year’s Oscars are, but the Academy traditionally prefers to focus on the contributions of the filmmaking community and stay away from anything political.

Meanwhile, the Academy isn’t the only group rejecting Zelenskyy. In September, Zelenskyy’s team applied to the Toronto Film Festival for the leader’s performance via satellite, but they were turned down. A TIFF spokesman said at the time that the festival “does not comment on discussions with dignitaries, government officials or international embassies”. The spokesman added that the festival “stands in solidarity with Ukrainians here at home and abroad and is proud to showcase the depth and creativity of Ukrainian filmmakers at this year’s festival.”

In recent months, Zelenskyy’s team has recruited Simpson, who represents heavyweights like Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho, to do overtures for the Globes, rehiring the academy after last year’s rejections. While the Globes welcomed the idea and gave Zelenskyy a few minutes of airtime, the Academy wasn’t interested. In an added personal twist, Simpson’s son Tommy collaborated with Ukrainian actress and pop singer Tina Karol on a song for “Superpower.”

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https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/oscars-reject-ukrainian-president-volodymyr-133136519.html Oscars Reject Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Offer to Appear on TV (EXCLUSIVE)


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