Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a virtual appearance during the Golden Globes telecast on Tuesday evening.
Zelensky was introduced to actor-director Sean Penn, best known for his Academy Award-winning performances in 2003’s “Mystic River” and 2008’s “Milk.” The “Gaslit” star met with Zelensky this past November in Kiev to show support for the war-torn country, where he filmed a documentary for Vice Studios earlier in the year.
“Young Iranians are waking up to otherworldly courage,” Penn told the crowd. “To the ever-persevering women’s movement in Afghanistan. We are reminded, in no uncertain terms, that the freedom to dream is not just a human luxury, but a human need to be fought for and sacrificed for. If freedom to dream is a spear, I proudly present a man who tonight represents the most honorable tip of that spear.”
Zelensky then addressed the audience with a recorded message recalling the opening of the Golden Globes in 1944. There was still war and tears ahead, this is when the Golden Globe Awards came out to honor the best performers of 1943,” Zelenky said. “Now 2023 the war in Ukraine is not yet over but the tide is turning. And it is already clear who will win. There are still fights and tears ahead, but now I can definitely tell you who the best of the previous year was, it was you. Free people in a free world. who are united around the support of the free Ukrainian people in our common freedom struggle.”
Spectators cheered as President Zelensky announced his expected victory.
“There will be no World War III, this is not a trilogy,” Zelenky continued. “Ukraine will stop Russian aggression on our land.”
As a gift, Penn presented Zelensky with one of his Oscar trophies Shared on Twitter By Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. In return, Penn received an Order of Merit honoring his passionate solidarity with Ukraine.
Previously, Penn had threatened to “smell” his Oscar idols if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences neglected to offer Zelensky air-time on last year’s Academy Awards broadcast.
Zelensky’s Golden Globes appearance comes a week after the White House pledged to send $3.75 billion in military aid to Ukraine and neighboring NATO countries — the largest aid package ever from the United States amid the ongoing Russian offensive in Ukraine.
Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, said, “The war in Ukraine is at a critical juncture, and we must do everything we can to help Ukrainians resist Russian aggression.” US Department of Defense press release.