If it were up to co-host Amy Schumer, Ukraine’s Zelensky would be part of the Oscars
Oscars co-host Amy Schumer is “not afraid” to address the war in Ukraine at this year’s ceremony. In fact, the comedian recently revealed she wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to be part of the show.
While taping an upcoming episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show” — airing Thursday on CBS — Schumer discussed her plans to co-host the Academy Awards as Russia continues to invade Ukraine. Schumer is headlining the Oscars telecast alongside fellow comedy stars Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall.
“There is definitely pressure in one way to be like, ‘This is a vacation. Let people forget. We just want to have this night,’” Schumer tells Barrymore in a preview clip shared with the Los Angeles Times.
“But ... we have so many eyes and ears on this show. It’s a great opportunity to at least comment on a couple of things. I have some jokes that highlight the current condition.”
In a bid to reignite the flagging Oscars, the film academy is set to tap three female comedian hosts and will let everyday movie fans vote via Twitter for the first time.
Beyond mentioning the war in Ukraine during the awards ceremony or wearing blue-and-yellow pins in solidarity with the besieged nation — as many Hollywood stars have already done — Schumer expressed a desire to air a message from Zelensky during the ABC broadcast.
Before he became president of Ukraine, Zelensky also worked in the entertainment industry as an actor. His comedy series “Servant of the People,” just became available on Netflix, and he is known for voicing Paddington bear in the Ukrainian version of the beloved children’s film.
“There are so many awful things happening that it seems hard to focus on which one,” Schumer continues. “I actually pitched ... a way to have Zelensky satellite in or make a tape or something just because there are so many eyes on the Oscars. I am not afraid to go there, but it’s not me producing the Oscars.”
Netflix added ‘Servant of the People’ — the comedy that launched Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s political career — back to its platform Wednesday.
The film academy did not immediately respond Monday to The Times’ request for comment. The Oscars take place Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Schumer is one of several entertainment luminaries who have shown support for Ukraine in recent weeks. On Sunday, Zelensky publicly thanked actors Mila Kunis — who was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine — and Ashton Kutcher for raising nearly $35 million to help Ukrainian refugees.
“[Ashton Kutcher] & Mila Kunis were among the first to respond to our grief,” Zelensky tweeted Sunday, along with a photo of himself speaking with the celebrity couple via Zoom.
“Grateful for their support. Impressed by their determination. They inspire the world. #StandWithUkraine”
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