Oscar winner and self-proclaimed political ambassador Sean Penn recently made headlines for his political activism, this time in Ukraine. He is producing a war documentary for VICE Studios and was already there to cover the crisis on February 24, the day Russia invaded the Eastern European country. He strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which earned him and fellow actor Ben Stiller a permanent ban on entering Russia as a result of his words and actions.
According to the New York Post, the 62-year-old actor and director was in Kyiv this week and met with the president Volodymyr Zelensky to lend him one of his two Oscars as a show of solidarity with the country amid the ongoing war with Russia. President Zelenskyy was instructed by the actor to hold it until Ukraine won the war, then return it to him in Malibu when the conflict was finally over.
“It’s just symbolic nonsense, but if I know it’s here with you, I’ll feel better and stronger for the fights,” Sean Penn said in a video shared by President Zelenskyy’s office. “When you win, take it back to Malibu.”
At first, President Zelenskyy was hesitant to accept the controversial gift, but he eventually accepted it.
“We have to win,” Zelenskyy replied.
The gesture drew mixed reviews
The gesture was received with praise and criticism from around the world.
Actor and activist Russel Brand said: “In a way I think it’s really, really sweet because I feel like Sean Penn is a totally sincere person and he knows things. and saw things that I can’t begin to comprehend or comprehend but in another way doesn’t that show you that we’ve become completely immersed in some sort of wag the dog style event rather than an authentically rendered military experience.Because Sean Penn gives Zelenskyy an Oscar and says, “Take him back to Malibu” at the same time as nuclear plants are bombed and bridges are destroyed.
In return, President Zelenskyy awarded Sean Penn the Order of Merit, for his involvement in raising international support for Ukraine, and added the actor’s name to the ‘March of the Brave’ on Constitution Square in Kyiv, which honors leaders and representatives. other countries which have supported Ukraine in particular.
Penn won two Best Actor Oscars, one in 2004 for his role as ex-con Jimmy Markum in the mystical river (2003), and in 2009 he got his second for portraying Harvey Milk in the biopic Milk (2008).