Amy Schumer says Oscars turned down her request to have president Zelensky appear at the ceremony

"We have so many eyes and ears on this show"

Amy Schumer has claimed that Oscars producers turned down her idea for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to appear via video link at the ceremony.

The comedian is set to host next weekend’s ceremony alongside Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall, and noted how there are “so many eyes on the Oscars” that it would be an opportunity to highlight the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Russia sent military forces into Ukraine on February 24, and The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that the conflict has claimed 1,900 civilian casualties between that date and March 15. The UN (via the BBC) has also estimated that there are around 1.85million internally displaced people within Ukraine.

Zelensky has also appeared via video link to appeal to a number of governments over the past few weeks, including the UK Parliament and the US Congress.

Volodymyr Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky. CREDIT: Getty / Laurent Van Der Stockt

Speaking on The Drew Barrymore Show, Schumer explained how she wanted to use the Oscars to put a spotlight on serious issues.

“I actually pitched, I wanted to find a way to have Zelensky satellite in or make a tape or something just because there are so many eyes on the Oscars,” she said (via Yahoo). “I am not afraid to go there, but it’s not me producing the Oscars.”

Explaining bringing world events into the Oscars, Schumer added: “I think there is definitely pressure in one way to be like, ‘This is a vacation, let people forget we just want to have this night,’ but it is like well we have so many eyes and ears on this show.

The Oscars CREDIT: Getty

“I think it’s a great opportunity to at least comment on a couple of things. I have some jokes that kind of highlight the sort of current condition.”

The comedian went on to note that “there are so many awful things happening that it seems hard to focus on which one”.

Ukraine has been a common topic this awards season, with Kristen Stewart, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally recently giving Vladimir Putin the middle finger at the Independent Spirit Awards earlier this month.

Next weekend’s Oscars are led nominations-wise with The Power Of The Dog, which has 12 nods, followed by Dune with 10 nominations, and Belfast and West Side Story, with seven each. Other competitors for Best Picture include Licorice PizzaCODA, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, King Richard and Nightmare Alley.

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