Russia’s state-run Channel One cancelled its planned live broadcast of the Oscars last Sunday, to make room for “live coverage” of “the situation in Ukraine,” aka Russia’s Crimean invasion with a signature Kremlin media spin. When the 86th Academy Awards aired in Russia a day later, Jared Leto’s Best Supporting Actor Award acceptance speech was edited out, Rain TV reports.
“To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say: We are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight,” Leto had rambled in his speech Sunday night.
Early this morning, the Russian state-run television network admitted that the speech was edited out of their broadcast, but denied that it was them doing the editing. “The channel aired a 90-minute international version of the Oscar ceremony, which was not to be cut and was provided by the rights holder,” a spokesperson for Channel One told The Hollywood Reporter.
Who is the rights holder? In a phone call with ANIMAL, ABC’s press office confirmed that it is the Academy. And the Academy’s Communications Department told us, “We record the livefeed, but we do not make edited versions.”
So, according to Channel One’s version of events, the state-run Kremlin-vetted network was allegedly provided pre-edited footage by the Academy with one of the most talked about acceptance speeches for one of its biggest awards cut out, and that speech just happened to mention Ukraine.
Not according to the Academy. Channel One should ask their boss about this.