Zelenskyy Humiliated After Major Oscars Request Shut Down for Second Year in Row - Report
Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears to be batting 0-for-2 this week.
The Ukrainian president has reported been denied a request to address the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at this years Oscars, making that the second turn-down from the Academy in as many years.
That report came Thursday in an exclusive report from Variety. The day prior, CNN, in another exclusive, reported that Zelenskyy wanted House Speaker Keven McCarthy to visit his war-torn country but had been turned down flat.
Zelenskyy had even hired an agent, Mike Simpson of the well-known William Morris Endeavor agency, to plead his case, according to the report.
The Academy reportedly turned him down, although they refused to comment for Variety’s piece.
Zelenskyy, who admitted has at least some reason to believe that the Academy might want to hear from him, given his past career as a comedic actor, has appeared at multiple awards shows and film festivals over the past year, mostly by remote video.
Last year, he appeared at the Grammy Awards as well as the Cannes and Venice film festivals, Variety noted.
He’s also appeared at the Golden Globes, where he was introduced by Sean Penn.
But last year, Will Packer, who produced the Oscars, refused Zelenskyy’s request to appear.
“Sources say Packer expressed concerns that Hollywood was only showering Ukraine with attention because those affected by the conflict are white,” Variety reported. “By contrast, Hollywood has ignored wars around the globe that impact people of color, he argued. Packer did not respond to a request for comment.”
The reason or reasons for the rejection this year were unclear.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has rejected an invitation from the president of embattled Ukraine to visit the country, saying such a visit would not impact his “no blanks checks” position on Ukrainian aid.
“I don’t have to go to Ukraine to understand where there’s a blank check or not,” McCarthy told CNN Wednesday.
The California Republican’s own party is divided over whether to continue supplying aid to Ukraine, and if so, how much.
Zelenskyy apparently believes that a visit to the impacts of the war first-hand would help push the speaker to support more aid.
“Mr. McCarthy, he has to come here to see how we work, what’s happening here, what war caused us, which people are fighting now, who are fighting now,” Zelenskyy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And then after that, make your assumptions.”
“I think that Speaker McCarthy, he never visited Kyiv or Ukraine, and I think it would help him with his position,” Zelenskyy said.
McCarthy, however, reiterated his position: He supports Ukraine, but will not support writing the country a “blank check.”
The fact that the spending of all U.S. aid to Ukraine is overseen by the federal government, as CNN pointed out, does not seem to mollify McCarthy. (CNN’s Clare Foran provided no details regarding how that spending is overseen, or how effective that oversight might be in a war zone.)
“Let’s be very clear about what I said: no blank checks, OK? So, from that perspective, I don’t have to go to Ukraine to understand where there’s a blank check or not,” McCarthy told CNN.
“I will continue to get my briefings and others, but I don’t have to go to Ukraine or Kyiv to see it,” he added. “And my point has always been, I won’t provide a blank check for anything.”
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