Should we talk about Ukraine or not, and how? The organizers of the ceremony are still undecided

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Leonardo DiCaprio proved it with the climate crisis, Joaquin Phoenix finished off the point by being outraged on stage about the artificial insemination of cows: stars can address political issues during Oscar night and even receive applause for it. “It depends a lot on how we talk about it”points out Scott Feinberg, price specialist for the specialized magazine The Hollywood Reporter. “If it just looks like we’re doing a publicity stunt or teaching a lesson, it’s not going to go well. But if it’s sincere, that it makes sense, then the outcome may be different.”he told AFP.

Ukrainian-born Mila Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher are a prime example of Hollywood stars leveraging their notoriety for the Ukrainian cause. The couple’s fundraising page on the GoFundMe site has already raised more than $35 million to fund emergency aid and accommodation for Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries.

President Volodymyr Zelensky himself welcomed this initiative. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis “they were among the first to react to our distress”wrote the Ukrainian head of state, who was still an actor before his election. “Grateful for your support. Impressed by your determination”he added.

Sean Penn, who was in kyiv for a documentary when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, has activated his humanitarian foundation that will help refugees in Poland. “Ukraine is the spearhead of the fight for the dreams of democracy. If we let it fight alone, we lose our soul as the United States”the actor told AFP. arnold schwarzenegger, theterminatormeanwhile called on Vladimir Putin to end this conflict “fool”in a post that has gone viral on social media.

Many lesser-known filmmakers have also faced violence since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and backed Donbass separatists.

Between gestures of solidarity toward Ukraine and virulent tirades against Putin, the Russian invasion is a constant topic of concern at every Hollywood movie awards season event. “We support the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the war, both Ukrainians and other ethnicities and nationalities”launched the American actress Kristen Stewart during the Spirit Awards of independent cinema.

The presenter Megan Mullally was even more forceful in her complaint: “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we expect a quick and peaceful resolution…especially ‘Fuck you and go home Putin.'”she said.

Comedian Amy Schumer, who will host the Oscars on Sunday night, shouldn’t dwell on those linguistic loopholes. But she said that she recently came up with the idea of ​​inviting President Zelensky to speak. “via satellite or recorded message, because many eyes are on the Oscars”. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the prestigious trophies, has not publicly jumped on the bandwagon and the proposal appears to have been rejected. Amy Schumer acknowledged that “there’s a certain pressure to be like, ‘This is a break, let people forget about it, we just want to enjoy the night..

For journalist Scott Feinberg, the organizers may have wanted to avoid a mix of genres that could have been uncomfortable. For Volodymyr Zelensky, “It’s about dealing with a life-or-death situation. And of course he’s a former actor, but I still feel like it really could have blown up in their faces.”he explains.

Organizers “think hard to figure out how to talk about it without making the show too political or divisive”Esteem Scott Feinberg.

The producers of the Oscars were finally unable to address this sensitive issue at all: the winners of the evening will probably take it upon themselves to come and receive their statuettes. “If I had to bet, I would say that almost every speech will mention Ukraine and the atrocities that take place there”released Clayton Davis of Variety magazine.

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