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The Oscars have rejected Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s request to appear for the second time

President Zelenskyy has now been rejected twice by the Academy Awards to appear on the show

President Zelenskyy has now been rejected twice by the Academy Awards to appear on the show
Anadolu AgencyGetty

The Academy Awards seem keen on keeping President Zelenskyy out of their show. The Ukrainian president has had his eyes on a spot in the televised Academy Awards since 2022, and after having his request rejected, tried again for 2023, only to be rejected once again.

Zelenskyy employed Mike Simpson, a top talent agent at WME who also represents Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon-ho, as his talent agent in 2023. Simpson made a strong case for the President to appear at the Oscars, but was met with a firm “no”.

What award shows has Zelenskyy appeared in?

Despite not being allowed at the Oscars, President Zelenskyy has appeared in a number of other high-profile award shows. Last April, Zelenskyy, who began his career as a comedian in Ukraine and once played the President in a television series, appeared at the 64th Grammy Awards.

He appeared in a prerecorded message, bringing awareness to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“The war. What’s more opposite to music?” Zelenskyy began. “The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died, and we will never see them drawing.

“Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning — in bomb shelters, but alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.”

After his Speech, John Legend performed his song ‘Free’, joined by Ukrainian singers Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchuk.

In May 2022, Zelenskyy then appeared at the Cannes Film Festival, making an impassioned speech calling for unity and for filmmakers to support Ukraine.

Most recently, Zelenskyy shared a message at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards and was introduced by Sean Penn, who directed the 2023 documentary ‘Superpower’ about war-torn Ukraine starring Zelenskyy.

Why did the Oscars snub Zelenskyy?

Neither the Academy nor Zelenskyy’s agent Mike Simpson has made any official statement on why Zelenskyy was rejected from this year’s Oscars when he has appeared at other award shows.

The Ankler, a media publication, is reported to have stated that the academy “wanted to remain apolitical”, following their rejection of Zelenskyy appearing at the award show in 2022.


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