Actor Sean Penn has threatened to 'publicly smelt' his Academy Award trophy if the organisers of the 2022 Oscars decide to not invite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the award ceremony this Sunday night.
The actor has won Best Actor twice for Milk and Mystic River. He has been invested in the Russia-Ukraine crisis and even visited Ukraine in the middle of the war recently.
President Zelenskyy had famously requested the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Oscars' organisers - to allow him to speak at the award ceremony in a bid to drum up international support for Ukraine in the war against Russia.
However, there are speculations that he may not be allowed to take the stage. The 2022 Oscars ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on the night of Sunday, 27 March.
Speaking to CNN, Sean said, "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. I myself, if it comes back to it, when I return, I will smelt mine in public."
Sean said that he hoped it wouldn't come to that. "I pray that's not what happened. 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," he added.
The actor is currently in Poland after he recently crossed the Ukrainian border on foot. He is in Europe filming a documentary about the ongoing war. He met Zelenskyy during his stay in Ukraine and even attended a government press briefing recently. The actor had previously posted a video from the meeting on Instagram. He captioned it, "The more people know about the war in the Ukraine, the higher the likelihood of stopping Russia!" He has since deleted the video.
Sean is regarded as one of the best actors of his generation, having won numerous awards in addition to his two Oscars.
Apart from his on-screen work, he is also known for engagement in humanitarian and political causes. He had been in contact with the Presidents of Cuba and Venezuela earlier and was commended for his work in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.