Netizens divided as Oscars decline Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to speak at the show

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal to appear at this year’s Oscars has reportedly been snubbed by its organizers.

As per Variety, the 45-year-old was hoping to make an appearance at March 12’s star-studded event during its telecast but was denied. The rejection has happened for the second time in a row, as Zelensky was denied last year as well.

In 2022, the actor-turned-politician made an appearance via satellite at the Golden Globes and Grammy Awards, along with film festivals like Berlin and Cannes. February 2023 marked one year of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

However, netizens had mixed remarks on the Ukrainian president’s request to appear at this year’s Oscars being rejected.

While one side of Twitter supports Volodymyr Zelensky’s rejection from this year’s Oscars, the other condemns the decision

After the news of Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to appear at March 12’s Oscars being snubbed went viral, Twitteratis were left divided. Several users supported the Academy’s decision to reject the Ukrainian president’s request, stating that he should not mix politics with entertainment.

Others were furious with the Academy’s decision and stated that they would be boycotting the award ceremony for not giving the platform to the Ukrainian president to make his appeal amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Volodymyr Zelensky received one of Sean Penn’s Oscars as support during the Russia-Ukraine conflict

As per Variety, Volodymyr had bagged WME top-notch agent Mike Simpson to speak with the Academy Awards committee to include him in the show but was denied.

Simpson’s client Aaron Kaufman co-directed a documentary titled Superpower based on Ukraine, alongside Sean Penn, who later lent one of his Oscars to the president. He asked the Ukrainian president to return the Oscar after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was over. In March 2022, Penn vowed to melt down his award if the Ukrainian president was not allowed to speak at the Oscars.

“There is nothing greater that the Academy Awards could do than to give [Zelensky] an opportunity to talk to all of us.”

In 2022, it was said that Will Packer, the executive director of the Oscars, was worried about giving Volodymyr Zelensky broadcast space because everyone involved in the conflict is white, and other tragedies involving people of color haven’t gotten the same attention. Instead, there was a moment of silence at the award ceremony. The news follows a survey conducted recently that revealed declining American support for aid to Ukraine.

Last year’s Oscars left the audience and viewers shocked after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. After Rock called Pinkett Smith “G.I. Jane,” Will went up to the stage and slapped the comedian right across the face on national television.

Later that night, Smith won his first Oscar for his performance in Richard but was banned by the Academy for the next 10 years as a result of his actions.

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