Washington [US], March 27 (ANI): Sean Penn has vowed to publicly "smelt" his statuettes from the Oscars if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does not invite Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to speak during the live telecast of the ceremony.
Variety obtained quotes from Penn's interview with CNN, in which he argued that the Academy has an obligation to offer President Zelenskyy a platform to speak on Ukraine's struggles amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
"There is nothing greater that the Academy Awards could do than to give [Zelenskyy] an opportunity to talk to all of us," Penn stated. "It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it. That is not me commenting on whether or not President Zelenskyy had wanted to... If the (Academy has) elected not to pursue the leadership in Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children that 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."
The actor-activist also urged those invited to boycott the ceremony if it is confirmed that the awards body decides against reaching out to Zelenskyy regarding a speech during the telecast.
"If it comes back to it, I will smelt mine in public," Penn continued. "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. So I'm just going to hope that that's not what's happened. I hope (every attendee) walks out if it is."
Recently, Amy Schumer, who is co-hosting the Oscars ceremony, stated that she had pitched the event's organizers on finding "a way to have Zelenskyy satellite in or make a tape" for the ceremony. "I am not afraid to go there, but it's not me producing the Oscars," Schumer explained.
Meanwhile, Penn was on the ground in Ukraine in February, to film a documentary on Russia's conflict with the neighbouring country. The actor has also spoken with President Zelenskyy on several occasions in the past month and is currently positioned in Poland as the country accepts Ukrainian refugees.
Penn has won two Academy Awards for best actor over his career, for 2003's 'Mystic River' and 2008's 'Milk'. (ANI)