Since invading Ukraine in late February, Russia has been hit with intense pushback — at least from people who don’t work at Fox News. Sanctions have partially crippled the economy. Businesses have pulled out, resulting in attempted creative salvage jobs. Russia has pushed back, too, banning a number of sometimes random figures. Did you know Morgan Freeman can no longer enter the nation? Nor can Rob Reiner or Piers Morgan. Now there’s a few more people who will have to stay away from the watchful eye of Vladimir Putin.
As per Newsweek, Russia released a new batch of banned figures. There are only 25 of them, but they include lawmakers like Kyrsten Sinema. There are also some entertainers. Sean Penn is on the list, and so is Ben Stiller.
Penn’s inclusion should shock no one. The actor and activist has been very vocal in his support of Ukraine, even visiting the country in the early days of the invasion. He’s even making a documentary about the war. Eventually he was told to skedaddle, if only for his own safety.
But what’s Stiller doing with a lifetime Russia ban? Well, for one thing, he’s good buds with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, in part because they’re colleagues: They’re both comic performers, though only Zelensky became president of a country, which he’s helped steer through unimaginable strife. Stiller has even called him “my hero.”
For the record, Stiller has also done his part to use his fame for good. He’s been helping to bring attention to the global refugee crisis since 2016, and he visited Ukraine in June, on National Refugee Day, where he observed the heavily-bombed nation. Apparently that enraged Putin and associates. Still, at least Penn and Stiller — and Sinema — can say they’re among increasingly august company.