Oscars Ceremony Shows a Brief Nod to Solidarity with Ukraine, but No Zelenskyy Appearance

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Where was President Volodymyr Zelenskyy? That’s what millions in the global Oscars audience were asking last night.

The Oscars did not give Ukraine’s president the platform he had lobbied to, but there was an unexpectedly low-key tribute paid to the nation’s bravery in fighting the Russians.

“Recent global events have left many of us feeling gutted,” Mila Kunis said. The Ukrainian-born actress didn’t mention the country by name. “One cannot help but be in awe of those who find strength to keep fighting through unimaginable darkness.”

There was a moment silence after Reba McEntire’s performance. A slate was displayed asking viewers for their support for Ukraine.

Blue and yellow ribbons were worn by some stars like Tyler Perry. The pin was made from the Ukraine flag by Francis Ford Coppola who is a legendary director. He was onstage to attend a “Godfather”Al Pacino and Robert De Niro paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of their respective films, and gave Ukraine a shoutout.

Some wanted more. 

Sean Penn threatens to melt his Oscars, because Zelenskyy wasn’t allowed to speak on the show.

“Every bit of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history. When I return I will smelt mine in public,” Penn said.

The New York Times reported that the Academy wanted to keep things upbeat, while also showing solidarity with Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the epic struggle for Ukraine’s independence continues.

After weeks of bombardment in the region of Mariupol, Ukraine, the mayor has declared that the city is now under the control Russian forces.