Volodymyr Zelenskyy 'snubbed by Oscars again', despite plea for Ukrainian president to get speaking spot

10 March 2023, 09:37 | Updated: 10 March 2023, 09:51

Volodymyr Zelenskyy will reportedly not speak at the Oscars on Sunday
Volodymyr Zelenskyy will reportedly not speak at the Oscars on Sunday. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been told he cannot speak at the Oscars for the second year in a row, according to reports.

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Ukrainian president Mr Zelenskyy has spoken at several awards events to rally continued support for his country's defence efforts against the Russian invasion, which began in March last year.

But he has not appeared at the Oscars, with reports that the Academy Awards snubbed him because the Ukrainian conflict primarily affects white people, according to Variety. Others have reported that the Academy prefers to remain apolitical.

It comes despite a "plea to the Academy" from an agent reportedly working on behalf of Mr Zelenskyy, the LA Times said. The Academy has not commented.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told LBC that it was a "shame" if Mr Zelenskyy was not going to speak at the Oscars, which are taking place this year overnight on Sunday morning.

James Cleverly points out to Nick Ferrari how incredibly important it is we are reminded of Ukraine

He told Nick Ferrari on Friday: "I’ve had the privilege of meeting Mr Zelenskyy both in Kyiv and in London.

"It is incredible important the whole world is reminded what is happening in Ukraine - a brutal, illegal, unprovoked attempted invasion by Russia.

"Civilian infrastructure damaged, civilians being killed, women raped on the battlefield, children being kidnapped and forcibly deported.

"This is an issue that we cannot silence and we should be reminded every day about why it’s so important that we help the Ukrainians defend themselves against the aggression, so if that is the case I think that’s a shame."

Ukrainians react to Zelenskyy's visit to the UK

His comments follow a serious Russian bombardment that killed several people in Russia and hit civilian infrastructure on Thursday morning.

Mr Zelenskyy has appeared at the Grammys and the Golden Globes over the past year to drum up support for Ukraine's war effort.

The president spoke at the Golden Globes in January with a recorded video message discussing the launch of the Golden Globes in the 1944.

Mr Zelenskyy said: “The second World War wasn’t over yet, but the tide was turned, all knew who would win.

Mr Zelenskyy has spoken at the Grammys and the Golden Globes
Mr Zelenskyy has spoken at the Grammys and the Golden Globes. Picture: Getty

"There were still battles and tears ahead, it was then when the Golden Globes awards appeared to honour the best performers of 1943.

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"It is now 2023, the war in Ukraine is not over yet but the tide is turning. And it is already clear who will win. There are still battles and tears ahead, but now I can definitely tell you who are the best in the previous year, it was you.

"The free people of the free world. Those who united around the support of the free Ukrainian people in our common struggle for freedom.

“There will be no third World War, it is not a trilogy,” Mr Zelenkyy continued.

“Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.”