Hollywood celebrity Sean Penn gave up an Oscar award to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in what he said was a symbol of strength.
The actor asked Zelensky to keep the statuette until the conclusion of the war, which he hopes will end with a victory for Ukraine.
“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 fights,” Penn said in a video posted by the office of Zelensky. “When you win, bring it back to Malibu.”
“We have to win,” answered Zelensky, who initially refused the Academy Award.
Viral social media account ТРУХА posted about the interaction along with a video of the exchange.
American actor and film director Sean Penn is visiting Ukraine for the third time during the full-scale war.
Sean brought his Oscar statuette as a symbol of faith in the victory of our country. It will be in Ukraine until the end of the war. pic.twitter.com/cjRp4B9tOf
— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) November 8, 2022
Some may view Parnell’s gifting of an Oscar award as a bit ironic given the Ukrainian president’s history.
As Wikipedia has correctly noted, Zelensky’s career, before assuming public office, comprised of acting. He created the production company Kvartal 95, which produced numerous features including a TV series called “Servant of the People” — a show about a man who unexpectedly is elected as the President of Ukraine.
Alas, the plot thickens. Employees of the Zelensky-founded Kvartal 95 created a political party of the exact same name, Servant of the People, in March of 2018. Zelensky, perhaps not surprisingly, is a member.