Academy Award winner Sean Penn hands his Oscar to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a token of support for the country amidst conflict with Russia. The actor tells his ‘great friend’ to return the trophy to Malibu once they emerge victorious from the war.
Penn has been vocal about his support for Ukraine ever since the war broke out in February. The 62-year-old actor and director has been to Kyiv twice prior to his most recent trip. Upon revisiting the president, he took out his Oscar and placed it on Zelensky’s desk as a symbol of his unwavering loyalty. The American actor won Academy Award for his performances in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008).
Actor Sean Penn Shows Support For Ukraine Amidst War Against Russia
Zelensky was once an actor and comedian before he entered the realm of politics. He was glad to accept Penn’s gift and calls it a great honor on his part. “This is for you. It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here with you, then I’ll feel better and stronger for the fight. When you win, bring it back to Malibu. I’ll feel much better knowing a piece of me is here,” says Penn via Daily Mail.
In turn, the president awarded Sean Penn a Ukrainian Order of Merit as a sign of gratitude for his sincerity and contribution to the country.
Penn also considered joining the Ukrainian armed forces to help them fight the war. He said, “Part of what makes [Zelensky] so particularly extraordinary is that courage, he’s the face of so many Ukrainians. I mean this is leadership we aspire to, this is freedom of thought and true leadership that mostly is just so moving.” (via Daily Mail)
As a consequence of his support for Ukraine, the actor is banned from entering Russia. Vladimir Putin’s ministry has included him in their list of banned US actors, along with Ben Stiller.
Fans Are Unimpressed With Penn’s Gesture
This move did not impress people and called it unnecessary. They took to Twitter their sentiments regarding Sean Penn offering his Oscar award to the Ukrainian president. Check out their tweets below:
You shouldn't attach much importance to this. Here in the West we have long known that Sean Penn is a lost soul who has been searching for some meaning in his life. With the Ukraine war, he seems to have found it.
— Sir Danny Boy (@sir_danny) November 9, 2022
I don’t quite understand Sean Penn‘s gesture: Zelenskyy is *leading* not acting. Is the Oscar perhaps to be auctioned for financial support for Ukraine?
— Rob Whittlestone (@RobWhittlestone) November 9, 2022
I want Ukraine to have their Victory and Peace and Yet what Sean Penn did is unnecessary . He no longer deserve his Oscar . And my respect for him is like way down as of now , there's a time for everything , he shouldn't bring the Oscar into Politics, Period .
— SandraV (@SandraV173) November 9, 2022
Is this real?
Seems rather strange.
Who is Sean Penn to award an acting trophy to Zelensky?
I have a 20metre swimming badge i was very proud of when younger; should i fly out on an electric plane to ukraine with family & present this?
Would it help?
— adwallt (@adwallt) November 9, 2022
Hollywood star Sean Penn has once again visited Kiev and exchanged gifts with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
He was telling his “great friend” to hold onto his Oscar until Ukraine defeats Russia.
If Ukraine loses the Oscar passes to Putin.
— Make Peace Now (@DoctorGerhard) November 9, 2022
Sean Penn was in Ukraine filming a documentary when the conflict broke out. He was forced to flee to Poland along with other refugees. This tragic firsthand experience might have encouraged the actor to take sides and show his support for the country.
Zelensky has urged the international community to encourage Russia to resort to a peaceful talk, with a condition of returning all Ukrainian lands as compensation for the damages caused by the war.