Sean Penn is calling on Hollywood to boycott the Oscars if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is denied a chance to speak on the red carpet at the event.
“I want to encourage everyone involved to know this, while it may be their moment, and I understand that it’s much more their moment to shine, protest and boycott the Oscars to celebrate their films ‘ the controversial actor said during an appearance on CNN on Saturday afternoon.
Penn, 61, has won two Oscars and vowed to “melt mine in public” if Zelensky is snubbed by the academy.
The Ukrainian leader was in talks with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make a video appearance during Sunday’s Oscars broadcast. Penn met Zelenskyy in Ukraine in February while he was filming a documentary about the nation’s tensions and the war with Russia.
Oscars co-host Amy Schumer floated the idea of having Zelensky speak at the event last week, People reported.
“To my understanding, a decision has been made not to do this,” Penn said of Zelensky’s speech.
“If the academy chose not to do this, if the moderators chose not to go after the leadership in Ukraine taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect, then I think of each and every one of those people and every part of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history.”