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Sean Penn has threatened to publicly destroy his Oscars if Sunday’s (27.03.22) ceremony doesn’t give a platform to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
The 61-year-old star – who has Best Actor statuettes for his work on ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Milk’ – urged the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to ensure the actor-turned-politician is given a moment to shine a spotlight on his war-torn country, and called on guests to “walk out” of the show if it doesn’t happen.
Speaking on CNN, he said: “If it turns out to be what is happening, I would encourage everyone involved, though it may be their moment, and I understand that, to celebrate their films, it is so much more importantly their moment to shine, and to protest and to boycott that Academy Awards. I myself, if it comes back to it, when I return, I will smelt mine in public.
“I pray that’s not what happened. I pray there have not been arrogant people who consider themselves representatives of the greater good who have decided not to check in with leadership in Ukraine. So I’m going to hope that’s not what happened, and I hope everyone walks out if it is.”
Sean – who is currently in Warsaw, Poland, for safety reasons – is shooting a documentary for Vice about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and met with Zelensky earlier this week.
Amy Schumer – who will co-host the ceremony with Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes – previously admitted she thinks it would be a “great opportunity” to use the Oscars’ global platform to share a message from the Ukraine President.
She said earlier this month: “I think there is definitely pressure in one way to be like, ‘This is a vacation, let people forget we just want to have this night,’ but it is like well we have so many eyes and ears on this show.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to at least comment on a couple of things. I have some jokes that kind of highlight the sort of current condition. I mean, there are so many awful things happening that it seems hard to focus on which one.
“I actually pitched, I wanted to find a way to have Zelenskyy satellite in or make a tape or something just because there are so many eyes on the Oscars.
“I am not afraid to go there, but it’s not me producing the Oscars.”