Sean Penn has promised to “smelt” his Oscar statues if it is confirmed that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wasn’t invited to speak at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Awards co-host Amy Schumer previously reported pitching the idea of Zelenskyy addressing the audience via video link at the prizegiving in Los Angeles on Sunday night, but claimed producers had turned it down.
On Saturday, Penn spoke to CNN about the decision and insisted that if the leader hadn’t been contacted, all attendees should boycott.
“It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it. That is not me commenting on whether or not President Zelenskyy had wanted to,” he said. “If the Academy has elected not to do it, if presenters have elected not to pursue the leadership in Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children that they are trying to protect, then I think every single one of those people and every bit of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history.”
The actor/activist, who was in Ukraine filming a documentary when Russian forces invaded last month and is currently based in Poland, went on to note that he hoped producers had at least reached out to Zelenskyy.
“I pray that’s not what’s happened. I pray there have not been arrogant people, who consider themselves representatives of the greater good in my industry, that have (decided against checking) with leadership in Ukraine,” the 61-year-old continued. “So, I’m just going to hope that that’s not what’s happened. I hope (every attendee) walks out if it is.”
And with two Oscar wins under his belt, Penn asserted: “If it comes back to it, when I return, I will smelt mine in public.”
– Cover Media