Top Gun: Maverick – Pro-Ukraine Group Asks Academy to ‘Review Sequel’s Eligibility’ for Oscars | Ent & Arts News

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) has urged Academy Awards organizers to “review the eligibility” of the Top Gun sequel for this year’s ceremony, due to the film’s alleged ties to a Russian oligarch.

Top Gun: nonconformistwho sees star Tom Cruise Return to the Sky more than 30 years after the original, is up for Best Picture this year Oscarsas well as five other awards including film editing and visual effects.

Just days before Sunday’s ceremony, the UWC published an open letter online calling on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to be “vigilant” against “any attempts to influence Hollywood and American society.”

Tom Cruise arrives at the 95th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Cruise pictured at the Academy Nominees Luncheon in February. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

It comes after a recent Los Angeles Times report that detailed the film’s alleged financing ties to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch who was sanctioned by Ukraine.

According to the UWC, Rybolovlev’s involvement in the film “has not been made public”. The organization said there were “good reasons to believe that his involvement may have led to censorship by the Kremlin”.

It continued, “Contrary to the original film, Top Gun: Maverick makes no direct or indirect reference to Russia. This is hardly a coincidence.”

The UWC letter, addressed to Academy president Janet Yang and board members, calls for “appropriate action” against films with Russian involvement.

“Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine around the world are grateful to the Academy for its longstanding support of Ukraine,” the letter reads.

“We were moved by the moment of silence in solidarity with Ukraine at last year’s Academy Awards and the various tributes paid by Academy members.

“As they enter their second year of defending families against Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainians are grateful to receive this important support from such an influential and high-profile institution.”

The letter went on to detail the UWC’s “serious concerns” about Russian influence in Hollywood.

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The UWC asked the Academy to “outright reject films with direct or indirect investment by Russian oligarchs or other instigators of Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine.”

He said the Top Gun sequel’s eligibility should be reviewed and that the Academy should issue a “strong statement” condemning the war.

The letter was signed by UWC President Paul Grod, who concluded: “Together we can make a difference in stopping Russia’s war crimes against the Ukrainian people.”

Sky News has reached out to Academy and Top Gun: Maverick production company Paramount Pictures for comment.

You can watch the Academy Awards on Sunday 12 March from 11pm exclusively on Sky News and Sky Showcase. And for everything you need to know before the ceremony, don’t miss our special Backstage podcast available Friday morning, plus a special episode for the winners from Monday morning


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