Global media respond to UWC letter on Oscars eve

#UWC news
March 10,2023 756
Global media respond to UWC letter on Oscars eve

The Ukrainian World Congress appeal to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences calling for the withdrawal of “Top Gun: Maverick,” a film funded by a Russian oligarch, from the 95th Academy Awards, was widely picked up and commented upon by the global and Ukrainian media.

On March 8, the leading British newspaper, The Independent, quoted a statement and a tweet from the Ukrainian World Congress.


Journalists of the British edition also asked the Academy for a comment but did not receive a response then.

On March 7, the sixth most widely circulated newspaper in the United States, Los Angeles Times, noted in its article that the UWC picked up an important topic already discussed two months earlier. The Times wrote about a breach of contract lawsuit filed by Bradley Fisher, former president of New Republic Pictures. The lawsuit alleged that Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire living in Monaco, played an essential role in financing “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequels to “Mission: Impossible,” and many other noteworthy films.

Critics find it challenging to pinpoint the exact extent of the censorship, but journalists are unequivocal about one thing: Russian money should not influence the global film industry and audiences.

“The script refrains from naming the enemy force that the American pilots face. But the issue of Russian money is part of a long-standing debate in American production circles,” commented the influential French publication Le Monde on the UWC statement.   

We thank all journalists for their attention to this crucial issue. The Ukrainian World Congress will continue to work to oust Russian influence from all spheres of cultural, political, and economic life in the world.  

On March 7, in an open letter, the UWC called upon the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to:

  1. explicitly reject films with any direct or indirect investments by Russian oligarchs or other enablers of Russia’s genocidal war on Ukraine;
  2. review the eligibility of “Top Gun: Maverick” to participate at the 95th Academy Awards for that same reason; and
  3. issue a strong statement at this year’s award ceremony condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine and any attempts to influence Hollywood and American society.

Read the open letter here

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