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Ukraine Criticizes HBO, Saying New ‘White Lotus’ Actor Helps Struggle

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Ukraine’s international ministry criticized HBO this week after Milos Bikovic was forged within the third season of “The White Lotus,” saying with out proof that the Serbian actor had supported Russia since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

HBO introduced on Jan. 12 that Bikovic, 36, can be becoming a member of the darkish comedy about rich vacationers at island resorts. On Wednesday, the international ministry of Ukraine made the accusations against Bikovic on social media, writing, “HBO, is all of it best for you to work with an individual who helps genocide & violates worldwide legislation?”

Bikovic was awarded the Pushkin Medal, which honors contributions to Russian arts and tradition, by President Vladimir V. Putin in 2018 and obtained Russian citizenship by presidential decree in 2021.

In February 2022, the day after the invasion started, Bikovic said on Instagram that he wished the battle had not occurred. “Struggle and bloodshed on any aspect reminds us of how far humanity is from world unity and love,” he wrote in Russian and Serbian. “God save the lives of all those that are actually in peril!”

Ukraine’s international ministry and Bikovic didn’t reply to requests for remark. An HBO spokesman mentioned questions must be directed to Bikovic’s representatives.

President Biden has known as Russia’s invasion genocide, and The New York Occasions has collected proof of brutalities by Russia, together with the willful killing of noncombatants.

A 79-second video that Ukraine’s international ministry posted on social media interspersed scenes from “The White Lotus” with clips of Bikovic accepting the award from Putin and former feedback it mentioned the actor had made about Russia. In a voice-over, it claimed that Bikovic was “the Kremlin’s international mouthpiece.”

Throughout Bikovic’s acceptance speech for the Pushkin Medal, he emphasised unity between Russia and Serbia. “What a pleasure for Russians and Serbs in our homeland as a result of we have now the identical worldview,” he mentioned in Russian.

Ukraine barred Bikovic from coming into the nation in 2019 for what it known as nationwide safety causes. On the time, he told a Serbian publication that “from the human and poetic viewpoint the state of affairs is absurd and fascinating.”

Earlier than he was forged in “The White Lotus,” Bikovic acted in films together with “South Wind,” which follows a gang member in Belgrade; “Sunstroke,” about army officers remembering the collapse of the Russian Empire; “Ice,” by which he performs a determine skater; and “The Balkan Line,” a few army operation throughout the Kosovo battle.

Season 3 of “The White Lotus” is about to start manufacturing in Thailand subsequent month and is scheduled to air in 2025. It would function Walton Goggins, Carrie Coon, Parker Posey and the returning forged member Natasha Rothwell.