Jared Leto's Oscars Acceptance Speech Was Cut Out Of The Russian Broadcast. Was It Because He Mentioned Ukraine?

Russia’s biggest television station canceled its live broadcast of the Oscars Sunday night, which some outlets after the fact connected to Jared Leto’s mention of Ukraine in his acceptance speech. For their part, Russian state-run Channel One said that in light of breaking reports on the Ukraine and Crimea situation, it was “inappropriate” to run five hours of live reporting from the Oscars. Which… sounds pretty reasonable, actually.

The channel ran an edited version of the broadcast early this morning. In which Jared Leto’s mention of Ukraine in his acceptance speech had been omitted. Oops.

The state-run Russian TV network Channel One says it wasn’t responsible for cutting Jared Leto’s words of support for the Ukraine from the taped broadcast of the Oscars ceremony that aired in Russia on Monday.

Channel One concedes that the remarks didn’t appear in its broadcast but denies it had a hand in censuring the speech.

“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,” Larisa Krymova, a spokesperson for the network, told The Hollywood Reporter. [THR]

And now we wait for comment from ABC, or whoever provided the edited version of the telecast (you guessed it, Frank Stallone). Here’s the part of Leto’s acceptance speech that mentioned Ukraine:

“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.”

It’s hard for me to believe that the Russian government was afraid to air something about as politically insightful as a Derek Zoolander eulogy. But then, Putin does a lot of things that wouldn’t be believable in a parody.