Sean Penn is taking the ordeal between Russia and Ukraine very seriously, serious enough that he has given the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences an ultimatum with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center. The Academy Awards is scheduled to air on Sunday, March 27 and Penn, who took home Best Actor Academy Awards for Mystic River and Milk, told CNN's Jim Acosta that the Oscars must have Zelensky on the program and give him the chance to speak. If not, he's suggesting that viewers and guests should boycott the ceremony.
"If it turns out to be what is happening, I would encourage everyone involved, though it may be their moment, and I understand that, to celebrate their films, it is so much more importantly their moment to shine, and to protest and to boycott that Academy Awards," Penn told Acosta. "I myself, if it comes back to it, when I return, I will smelt mine in public. I pray that's not what happens. I pray there have not been arrogant people who consider themselves representatives of the greater good who have decided not to check in with leadership in Ukraine. So I'm going to hope that's not what happened, and I hope everyone walks out if it is."
ICYMI: Actor Sean Penn says the Oscars should be boycotted if the ceremony’s planners have decided against having Zelensky on the program. pic.twitter.com/4LI2YIiKcD— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 26, 2022
Penn is shooting a documentary for Vice about the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. For the project, he met with Zelensky this week. He also reportedly attended a government press briefing amid the U.S.'s opposition to the attack.
Zelensky previously posted a video on Instagram of him with Penn. He captioned the photo: "The more people know about the war in the Ukraine, the higher the likelihood of stopping Russia!"
Penn is currently in Warsaw for safety reasons. There has been much talk about Zelensky attending the Oscars. Amy Schumer, who is hosting this year's event, agrees that he should be there. She explained her view during a recent appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show.
"I wanted to find a way to have Zelensky satellite in or make a tape or something, just because there are so many eyes on the Oscars," Schumer said. "I think it's a great opportunity to at least comment on a couple of things. I have some jokes that kind of highlight the sort of current condition."