AnnaLynne McCord’s ‘powerful poem’ to Putin backfires as Russia attacks Ukraine
She likely meant well, but actor AnnaLynne McCord’s message for Russian President Vladimir Putin landed with a thud Thursday, the morning after he ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine.
The “90210” and “Nip/Tuck” alum appeared to use slam poetry to get through to the Kremlin: The 69-year-old autocrat would be very different if she was his mother, she argued.
Yeah, she basically blamed the former KGB spy’s mom for Putin’s current crisis.
Russia pressed ahead with its assault on neighboring Ukraine on Thursday, with explosions resounding in cities across the country, airstrikes crippling its defenses and reports of troops crossing the border by land and sea.Map: Tracking the invasion of Ukraine | How to help: California organizations supporting Ukraine | What our foreign correspondents are seeing in Ukraine | Photos: Invasion of Ukraine begins
“I’m so sorry that I was not your mother,” the 34-year-old began in a widely shared — and panned — video posted Thursday on Twitter. “If I was your mother, you would have been so loved. Held in the arms of joyous light. Never would this story’s plight the world unfurled before our eyes. A pure demise of nations sitting peaceful under a night sky.
“If I was your mother, the world would have been warm. So much laughter and joy and nothing would harm. I can’t imagine the stain, the soul-stealing pain that the little boy you must have seen and believed, and the formulation of thought quickly taught you that you live in a cruel, unjust world. Is this why you now decide no one will get the best of you? Is this why you do not hide nor away shy from taking back the world? Was it because so early in life all that strife wracked your little body with fear?”
As word spread of the Russian incursion after weeks of failed diplomacy, California’s Ukrainian diaspora watched, stunned but not surprised.
McCord continued, saying that if she was his mother, she would have died to make him warm, to protect him from the unjust, violence, terror and uncertainty and to “give you life.” Putin’s official biography said that his parents died before he became president, and details about his early childhood are minimal. His mother, Maria Ivanovna Putina, was a factory worker, and his father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, was conscripted in the Soviet Navy.
“Oh, dear Mr. President Putin, if only I’d been your mother, perhaps the torture of unwrit youth would not within your heart imbue ascription to such fealty against that world that seemed so cruel,” she continued, hoping that instead of calling on Mother Russia, he would call on her if she was his mother.
McCord’s video cut off the actor at the 2:20-minute mark, but the replies to the post were swift, mixed and unfiltered. Many slammed her for being tone-deaf, some applauded her for “a powerful poem.” A few did a bit of internet sleuthing and shared videos of McCord fervently speaking out on other hot topics.
Russian tanks and troops crossed into Ukraine on Thursday after a night of shelling. But why is Russia attacking Ukraine? What is Putin’s goal?
“Sad day for me, too. I will never make anything this funny,” replied one user.
“What a bad day to have ears,” read another comment.
“There’s 1 thing we can always rely on from Hollywood, & it’s the audacity,” mused another.
Others drew comparisons to recent celeb PR crises, including Gal Gadot’s star-studded and ill-fated “Imagine” cover in March 2020, Pepsi’s controversial Kendall Jenner ad in 2017 and wrestler-turned-actor John Cena’s Thursday plea to summon a real comic-book Peacemaker.
“Choose your fighter,” read a tweet, which included a collage of Gadot, Jenner, Cena and McCord.
“Gal Gadot has competition,” added a Twitter user.
“Just sing ‘imagine’ next time. It’s easier than whatever this is,” wrote another.
“SAME tone deaf energy as this bs from the start of the pandemic,” said a different user.
Elsewhere on Twitter, youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman also tried to tackle the Russia-Ukraine conflict lyrically, tweeting: “There is no such thing as gentle war. / There is no peace / That can’t be flung aside. / Our only enemy is that which would / Make us enemies to each other,” then adding, “Perhaps one day peace can be a place on earth.”
In 2021, McCord publicly detailed her battle with dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
“The way I describe it is, it’s not different personalities — I’m not British one day and South African the next,” McCord told ET. “I am AnnaLynne, but it’s parts of AnnaLynne that are allowed to come out at this point, and they’re not safe to come out at this point. Or parts of AnnaLynne get triggered out in the world, and come out to protect.”
The “Dallas” reboot star added that she experienced trauma during childhood, with years of sexual abuse she later uncovered in therapy. She wrote and published an essay in 2014 about being raped when she was 18.
Representatives for McCord did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ requests for comment.
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