KYIV, Ukraine – He spoke to two movie stars via video call from the bombing and besieged city of Kyiv.
His aides pressed for the support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscar night show. He re-released his own TV show on Netflix in the middle of the war.
President Volodymyr Zhelensky, the actor who became the wartime leader of Ukraine, devoted most of his public appearances to appealing to the West about deadly weapons to fight the Russians: tanks, jets and missiles.
But, before becoming president, Mr. who starred in romantic comedies and performed stand-up routines. Zhelensky stressed that celebrities and artists should have a voice for his country. Better than Russia.
“We live in a modern world and we know that commentators and celebrities are important,” said Ekaterin Schulatse, a former deputy interior minister who has been involved in the Ukrainian government’s efforts to gain the support of artists, musicians and celebrities. “Politicians are not the only ones shaping the world.”
Mrs. Zguladze added: “Now, Ukraine has real solidarity with the rest of the world.
But Ukraine’s appeal to the Academy, the organization that awards the Oscars, Met own play.
Prior to the event, organizers said the war would be marked and the number of men would be honored, but Mr. Bryan Keith Etheridge, a Los Angeles-based sitcom writer, said Jelensky did not appear in the video. With the help of actress Mila Kunis of Ukrainian descent and her husband Ashton Kutcher, she helped coordinate the Academy of Ukrainian Government.
“The concern we have been told is that they do not want to politicize the show too much,” he said. Etheridge said. “If Jalensky says ‘thank you’ it will remind people and it will raise millions of dollars. It’s a great platform to show his face.
Sean Benn, who was filming the documentary war in Ukraine, Mr. Zhelensky called for a boycott of the Oscars if he was not allowed to appear on video, and promised to melt his own awards if the academy ignored the Ukrainian president. The award statues are made of gold-plated bronze.
The Oscar makers are “taking the lead in Ukraine, taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect, I think every single one of those people, that bit. That decision would be the most obscene moment in the history of Hollywood,” Mr Ben told CNN in an interview.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the producers said they intend to recall the number of the war but Mr. They also said they did not guarantee the video footage of Zhelensky.
“We’m going to be very careful about how we acknowledge where we are in the world,” Oscar producer Will Packer told a news conference Thursday.
One of the co-hosts of the festival was comedian Wanda Sykes, Mr. “Isn’t he busy now?”
Mr. Zhelensky did not appear on the show. Ms. When Reba McEntire appeared on television to launch the song “Four Good Days” from Kunis’ movie, Ms. Kunis talked about the war.
Before transferring the show to Ms McEntire, Ms. Kunis said, “Recent global events have left many of us depressed.”
“However, when you look at the strength and dignity of those facing such a catastrophe, you can not help but be moved by their resilience,” Ms Kunis continued. “One can not be afraid of those who find the strength to continue fighting in unimaginable darkness.”
Three screens of gold text were displayed on a black background after Ms McEntire’s performance, inviting audiences to donate to the humanitarian effort.
“While film is an important way of expressing our humanity in times of conflict, it is true that millions of families in Ukraine need food, medicine, clean water and emergency services,” the report said. “Resources are scarce, and we – collectively and the global community – can do more.”
Mr. Zhelensky’s aides insisted on gaining support in any form during the event, looking for any way to gain public support in the West, as the value of celebrity support in the firing war was not universally recognized in Ukraine.
“In the end, what happens on the ground is important,” said Oleksandr Daniluk, former secretary of the National Security and Security Council of Ukraine. “Everyone does what they can. I do not know if Gelensky’s one more speech will make a difference. But for starters it is better to want to do it. Everyone wants to help in every way possible.
But, like warplanes, tanks or missiles for the Ukrainian military, “in the end you need decisions,” Mr. Said Daniel.
Mr. Zelensky has urged a broad audience on all fronts, especially the arms suppliers, to convey the moral imperative to support Ukraine in the war.
“In general, Zhelensky is really following the news from Hollywood and looking for opportunities for support,” Sergei Leshchenko, an adviser to the president’s chief of staff, said in an interview.
In thanking the couple for raising $ 35 million for Ukrainian refugees and humanitarian aid, Mr. Kutcher and Mrs. Mr. with Kunis. After speaking on a video call from Zelensky Kyiv, the drive to support Ukraine during the Oscars began a week ago. GoFundMe campaign, Mr. Leshchenko said.
Ms Kunis most recently starred in “Breaking News in Yuba County” and plans to release the movie “Lucky Girl Alive” via Netflix.
“The Ukrainians are proud and courageous and deserve our help when they need it,” he wrote in a fundraising appeal. “This unjust attack on Ukraine and humanity is catastrophic and the Ukrainian people need our support.”
After the video call, Mr. Zhelensky’s aides were looking for a last – minute place at the Oscars.
Mr. Zhelensky has always had a keen sense of figure and storytelling in politics. Earlier this month, he said he was aware of repeated appeals on television for protests and that his continued presence in the besieged capital had made him a symbol of courage in many countries.
The Oscars naturally fit his government’s request for humanitarian aid, as many of his top aides are also seniors in the film industry.
Andrei Yermak, the head of the presidential administration, was a media lawyer and filmmaker. Ivan Paganov, head of the Internal Intelligence Agency, was the director of Quartel 95 Studios. Sergei Schaefer, a leading presidential adviser, was a screenwriter and producer, and his major credits include the successful romantic comedy film “Eight First Dates” and the television series “The In-Laws.”
Before becoming President of Ukraine, Mr. Zhelensky starred as president in his own television series, “Servant of the People,” which was released on Netflix this month. After fighting corruption, the character of a teacher was driven to the presidency, and the video filmed by his students went viral.
Maria Varenikova from Kiev and Matt Stevens from New York contributed to the reporting.
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