Speed Reads

the penn is mightier than the sword

Sean Penn says he'll 'smelt' his Oscars if Zelensky isn't allowed to speak at the Academy Awards

Actor Sean Penn, who is in Poland filming a documentary about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, told CNN's Jim Acosta on Saturday that he will "smelt" his two Oscars "in public" if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is not permitted to speak via video link at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

Penn also called on his Hollywood colleagues to "protest" and "boycott" the Academy Awards if "arrogant people" refuse to allow Zelensky to speak, which he said would be "the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history."

Zelensky, Penn said, embodies the "poetic courage ... that film aspires at its best" to express.

Oscars co-host Amy Schumer said last week that she had floated the idea of having Zelensky — himself a former actor — address the star-studded crowd but that the ceremony's producers rejected the idea, Yahoo! News reported.

On Friday, The New York Post published an article claiming that Zelensky was "in talks" to appear during the broadcast, though the Post added that it was "not clear if [Zelensky] would appear live or in a taped message."

Penn, who co-founded the disaster relief organization CORE, won the Best Actor Oscar for Mystic River in 2003 and Milk in 2008. Oscar statuettes are solid bronze plated with gold. Technically, "smelting bronze" refers to the process of producing bronze from cooper and tin and/or arsenic, not the process of melting bronze down. Bronze melts at approximately 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit.