Succession’s Brian Cox at SAG Awards: Russian attack on Ukraine is ‘truly, truly awful’
Actor Brian Cox spoke emotionally about the conflict in Ukraine and the silencing of Russian artists on Sunday when accepting a Screen Actors Guild award for the cast of “Succession.”
The Scottish actor, who plays Logan Roy in the HBO series, said Russia’s attack on Ukraine is “truly, truly awful,” before speaking out about entertainers in Russia not being allowed to opine on the situation in Ukraine.
“One thing I’d like to add, which I think is important to me and I hope important to you and I think as actors and performers and writers and directors you will be. This is a thing that’s come to me about what’s going on in the Ukraine. It’s truly, truly awful,” Cox said while accepting the award for best drama ensemble.
The actor remarked on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s past as a comedic actor.
“It’s particularly awful in terms of what is affecting the other people, particularly in our profession. The president of Ukraine was a comic. He was a wonderful comic performer. And we should respect that for him. And to come to the presidency was amazing,” Cox said.
“The thing that’s really distressed me is what’s happening in Russia to my fellow actors and actresses and performers and writers and critics. They are told, under pain of high treason, that they cannot say a word about Ukraine. And I think that is pretty awful. And I think we should all stand together,” he added.
Cox also addressed individuals in Russia, particularly artists, opposed to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“For those people, the people in Russia who don’t like what’s going on, and particularly the artists, and I think we should really join and celebrating them and hoping that they can actually make a shift, as I believe they can,” he said.
Cox’s comments come days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which started on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine. Russian forces have since infiltrated a number of cities in Ukraine, though their assault has been slowed by resistance from Ukrainian troops and private citizens.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs on Sunday said at least 352 civilians are dead in Ukraine amid the invasion.
Other actors showed solidarity with Ukraine at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony.
Michael Douglas wore a blue and yellow handkerchief, and Tyler Perry, Shari Belafonte and Douglas Hodge wore blue and yellow ribbons, according to E! News.
Actor Leslie Odom Jr. opened the awards show with a brief mention of the conflict, saying, “We’re holding a place in our hearts for Ukraine and sending our thoughts, prayers and hopes for impending peace.”