Oscars: Russian Broadcaster Denies Cutting Ukraine Tribute From Jared Leto's Speech

Jared Leto accepting his best supporting actor Oscar
Jared Leto accepting his best supporting actor Oscar
 AP Images/Invision

MOSCOW -- 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. 

During his best supporting actor acceptance speech for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, Leto said: "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."

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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.

Leto's speech -- along with that of Lupita Nyong'o, from 12 Years a Slave -- was widely considered one of the best of the ceremony

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Shortly before the Oscars, Channel One canceled its previously scheduled live broadcast of the ceremony, saying it was necessary to focus more of its news resources on the unfolding crisis in the Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the state-run Russian networks Channel One, NTV and VGTRK responded to a call from Ukraine's media giants, which had urged them in an open letter on Monday to avoid bias while covering the crisis for their Russian audience.

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In their own open letter of response, published on NTV's website and signed by NTV head Vladimir Kulistikov, Channel One boss Konstantin Ernst and VGTRK head Vladimir Kulistikov called on the Ukrainian media to do the same: Avoid biased coverage of their own while reporting on the situation between the two countries.

The letter also stressed that no obstacles were being created for Ukrainian journalists working in Russia.

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