Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be missing out on the Academy Awards for the second year in a row.
Deadline reports that the actor-turned-politician made a bid with the awards show for a virtual appearance during Sunday’s show. Their sources say WME power agent Mike Simpson attempted to negotiate the appearance but was shut down by the Academy who declined to comment.
Zelenskyy has been speaking at numerous shows since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 including Berlin Film Festival (remote) last month, Cannes and Venice film festivals as well as the Grammy Awards. He virtually rang the Opening Bell of the New York Stock Exchange in September. Sean Penn introduced the politician at the Golden Globes, emphasizing his message of “the free people of the free world — those who united around the support of the free Ukrainian people.”
Oscars producer Will Packer was against the Ukrainian politician’s appearance last year which, according to sources, was a decision made out of concern Hollywood was shedding a light on the conflict due to the white victims. Numerous global conflicts around the world with people of colour were routinely ignored by Hollywood according to the source.
The Ukraine President was also denied an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, with a spokesperson stating the festival “does not comment on discussions with dignitaries, government officials or international embassies.” They added that the festival “stands in solidarity with Ukranians both here at home and abroad and is proud to showcase the depth and creativity of Ukrainian filmmakers at this year’s festival.”