Before the Oscars, Amy Schumer made headlines by revealing that she had pitched a segment in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would appear via a livestream or pre-recorded video. While walking the red carpet, her Oscar co-host Wanda Sykes revealed she had a very different opinion about Zelenskyy potentially appearing.
“I think he’s very busy right now,” Sykes told Variety senior culture and events editor Marc Malkin on Variety On the Carpet presented by DIRECTV. “Hollywood, we can get a little full of ourselves, and we think that what we’re doing is all so important. And I understand that yeah, what we do, it reaches a lot of people. And we can persuade people, but also, just know your lane. You know what I’m saying? Know your lane.”
Sykes also made clear that, while she didn’t feel it was useful for Zelenskyy to appear at the Oscars, she personally admires Zelenskyy and the rest of the Ukrainian people resisting the current Russian invasion.
“We so admire him, and I think they’re showing the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people,” Sykes told Variety. You know we love them, we support them. I think we’re doing a great job sending them the weapons and everything that they need.”
During her interview with Malkin, she also weighed in on the controversy surrounding Disney’s support of the Don’t Say Gay bill in Florida. Sykes has been openly gay since 2008, and walked the red carpet with her wife Alex Niedbalski. She is currently working on “History of the World Part II,” a sequel series to Mel Brooks’ film “History of the World, Part I” for the Disney-owned streamer Hulu.
“I’m gonna be straight up honest, if they had handled it properly, the bill wouldn’t have passed,” Sykes told Variety. “It wouldn’t have even been on the board. Because Disney, as a company, they have a lot of influence and power in Florida. And if they would have said, ‘Hey, you guys want to do this, we can take business elsewhere’ or whatever. I mean, that’s how I feel.”
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