Actor Sean Penn threatened to “smelt” his Oscars if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is denied a chance to speak at the Academy Awards.
In an appearance on CNN Saturday, Penn said “I would encourage everyone involved to know, though it may be their moment, and I understand that, to celebrate their films, it is so much more their moment to shine and to protest and to boycott that Academy Awards”.
Penn, who has won two Oscars, noted “If it comes back to it, I will smelt mine in public”.
“I pray that’s not what’s happened. I pray there have not been arrogant people, who consider themselves representatives of the greater good in my industry, that have [decided against checking] with leadership in Ukraine,” he continued. “So I’m just going to hope that that’s not what’s happened. I hope [every attendee] walks out if it is”.
Zelensky has reportedly been in talks with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make a video appearance during the broadcast of the Oscars ceremony.
Penn met with Zelensky in February while in Ukraine, where he was filming a documentary about the nation’s tensions and war with Russia, reported The New York Post.
Oscars co-host Amy Schumer mentioned that she floated the idea of having Zelensky speak at the event.
“It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it,” Penn said.
“If the Academy has elected not to do it, if presenters have elected not to pursue the leadership in Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect, then I think every single one of those people and every bit of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history,” he concluded.