Sean Penn handed over one of his Oscars to Zelenskyy. But why?

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulNov 09, 2022 | 16:32

Sean Penn handed over one of his Oscars to Zelenskyy. But why?

American actor Sean Penn loaned his Oscar statuette to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to the capital Kyiv. It was a gesture of good faith and in confidence that Ukraine will triumph over the ongoing Russian invasion.

The Hollywood actor and director met Zelensky on Tuesday, handing him his Oscar while seated around a ceremonial table, chiding, “it’s just a symbolic, silly thing”

 "When you win, bring it back to Malibu."

The statuette is one of the two Academy Awards that Penn has won over the course of his cinematic career - the first as Best Actor in Mystic River (2003) and the next as Best Actor in Milk (2008).

In return, Zelensky presented Penn with the Order of Merit honour for strengthening relations, backing Ukraine's territorial integrity and helping to popularise the country.

The two exchange prizes. Photo: Getty Images

The two were spotted making their way to the “Alley of Courage” in Kyiv to view a plaque bearing Penn's signature, dated February 24, the date of the Russian invasion; as a "reminder to all future generations of our people that different people, forces and industries united for our victory."

Penn and Zelensky at the "Alley of Courage", squated around Penn's plaque. Photo: Getty Images

Earlier this year, Russia announced a list of 25 'high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures' from the US, who have been permanently barred from entering. Penn was among the names on the list alongside fellow actor and director Ben Stiller.

Currently, the actor is involved in the production of a documentary in Ukraine, this time marking his third wartime visit to Ukraine. However, this isn't a first for the actor.

Penn has been outspoken in supporting numerous political and social causes. Here is a quick retrospective on the actors humanitarian efforts across the world:

Last updated: November 09, 2022 | 16:32
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