The organizers of the world-renowned Oscars have declined a request by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the public during this year's ceremony, as reported by Variety magazine. The request was made by talent agency WME's Mike Simpson, who was also declined by the organizers.
The American Film Academy declined to comment on the matter.
Zelensky's Previous Attempts to Address the Oscars
This is not the first time that Zelensky has been rejected by the Oscars. In the previous year, co-host Amy Schumer suggested that he join the ceremony via a video link, but her suggestion was not considered by the organizers.
Ahead of last year's Oscars, Schumer stated on "The Drew Barrymore Show,": "There are so many awful things happening that it seems hard to focus on which one. I actually pitched a way to have Zelensky 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." Despite being rejected by the Oscars, Zelensky has made several appearances on award shows. In April 2022, he appeared virtually at the 64th Grammy Awards and delivered a pre-recorded message, saying, "The war.
What's more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died, and we will never see them drawing." He added, "Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning — in bomb shelters, but alive.
Our loved ones don't know if we will be together again. The war doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence." Zelensky's most recent appearance was at the Golden Globes in January, where he was introduced by Sean Penn.
During his address, he expressed optimism, saying, "It is already clear who will win. There are still battles and tears ahead, but now I can definitely tell you who was the best in the previous year: It was you. The free people of the free world."
Toronto Film Festival Rejects Zelensky
In September of the previous year, the Toronto Film Festival (TFF) also declined Zelensky's request to address the public.
The spokesman stated that he would not make any further announcements regarding the decision, but added that TFF is on the side of Ukrainians and is proud that Ukrainian directors have the opportunity to present their films there.