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Sean Penn says Will Smith’s Oscar slap could have been avoided if Zelenskyy had been at the ceremony

“This fucking bullshit wouldn’t have happened with Zelensky. Will Smith would never have left that chair to participate in stupid violence,” Academy Award winner Sean Penn said in a new interview.

Two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn made some interesting statements in a recent no-punches interview with Variety.


Promote your documentary Superpowerwhich premiered earlier this year at Berlin Film Festival and lands on Paramount+ on September 18, Penn criticized the Oscars for not including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Oscars telecast.

“The Oscar producer was like, ‘Oh, he’s not light enough.’ Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith! said Penn in the interviewreferring to Smith infamous slap against host Chris Rock shortly before his acceptance speech for Best Actor.

“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once,” Penn continued. “He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so good in King Richard. So why did you spit on yourself and everyone else with this stupid fucking thing? Why did I go to jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you standing and cheering for his worst moment as a person?

For those who are confused, Penn is referring here to his 1987 prison sentence for reckless driving and punching an extra on the set of his film. Colors.

“This fucking bullshit wouldn’t have happened with Zelensky. Will Smith would never have left that chair to participate in stupid violence,” Penn said.

Superpower was co-directed with Aaron Kaufman and is a gritty chronicle of Zelensky’s improbable political rise following his previous career as a television comedian. It depicts the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022; it’s a well-intentioned and occasionally inspiring documentary, but one that stumbles into self-promotion at best, superficial propaganda at worst.

Penn previewed Zelensky’s virtual appearance at the 2023 Golden Globes and said last year he would melt his statuettes in support of Ukraine if Zelensky was not invited to the Oscars. Zelensky’s request to speak at the Academy Awards was reportedly rejected twice, in 2023 and 2022, with suggestions that Oscar producer Will Packer expressed concern about granting Zelensky too much air time.

“I thought, well, fuck it, you know? I’ll give them to Ukraine,” Penn told Variety. “They can be melted down into bullets that they can shoot at the Russians.”

Instead of melting his Oscars, Penn ended up offer Zelensky one of his Oscars Last November, a gesture that the actor himself described as a “symbolic and stupid thing” and which earned him a lot of mockery on social networks.

“I told him to keep it and bring it to Malibu once this is all over and his country is safe,” Penn said. In return, Zelenskyy honored Penn with the Order of Merit III degree for outstanding service, as well as a commemorative plaque.

In the same Variety interview, Penn also expressed distrust of the studios’ proposed use of artificial intelligence in the SAG-AFTRA negotiations.


“So you want my scans, my voice data and all that. OK, here’s what I think is right: I want your daughter’s, because I want to create a virtual replica of her and invite my friends to do whatever we want in a virtual party right now. Could you please look at the camera and tell me you think this is cool? »

No, it’s far from cool. And a reaction that is at least a little disproportionate, despite the worrying situation Studio AI Practices and the ongoing strikes by writers and actors in the United States.

Additional sources • Variety


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