Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will appear at the 64th annual Grammy Awards to give a pre-taped speech amid Russia’s continued invasion of his country, an insider has confirmed to Variety.
Zelensky shot the video within the last 48 hours in a bunker in Kiev. The video will introduce musician John Legend’s performance about two hours into the show.
Prior to the 2022 Grammys telecast, it was unclear whether or not the Ukrainian President would appear through satellite or a pre-taped video segment, if at all.
He did not appear a week prior during the 2022 Oscars, despite much speculation around his appearance.
The idea of Zelensky making an Oscars appearance was first floated by co-host Amy Schumer during an interview on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’.
Schumer said she pitched the ceremony’s producers on getting Zelensky involved.
Oscars co-producer Will Packer said at a press conference before the Oscars that a Zelensky appearance wasn’t yet out of the question, but the Ukrainian President did not appear during the ceremony.
Actor Sean Penn made headlines the day before the Oscars by telling CNN that he would “smelt” his Oscars in public if the Academy elected against asking Zelensky to speak during the live telecast.
“There is nothing greater that the Academy Awards could do than to give (Zelensky) an opportunity to talk to all of us,” Penn said.
“It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it. That is not me commenting on whether or not President Zelensky had wanted to. If the (Academy has) elected not to pursue the leadership in Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children that they are trying to protect, then I think every single one of those people and every bit of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history.”
Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes shut down the prospect of a Zelensky Oscars appearance on the red carpet.