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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the Grammys

Image for the article titled So, Uh, President of Ukraine Zelenskyy stepped in at the Grammys

photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images)

In the middle of Sunday night’s 2022 Grammy Awards, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise appearance over a pre-recorded video clip asking Americans to speak out on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. John Legend accompanied his message on the piano, as did a Ukrainian poet who fled Ukraine “days ago” according to the TV show.

During Zelenskyy’s minute-and-a-half video, he told viewers, “War doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in perpetual silence. Our musicians wear protective vests instead of tuxedos. They sing for the wounded in hospitals.” Zelenskyy, who did not speak at the Oscars last weekend, probably to Trouble by Sean Penn, He went on to dream that people from his Ukrainian cities would be “free like you on the Grammy stage.”

While the buttoned-up Grammys show had just paid Ukraine a tribute the Oscars could only dream of, it still felt… bad. And in a truly surreal shift in tone, Lady Gaga walked onto the stage just moments later and began… scatting.

It’s about a literal war that has the potential to become a global nuclear war amid some of Hollywood’s most outlandish and glitzy events, where VIP attendees often walk away with goody bags worth $137,000, will always be incredibly embarrassing. In a room full of celebrities in clothes worth enough money to send an entire family to college, trying to raise awareness of mass suffering and geopolitical issues feels numb: when half the money spent on preparing these Displays of wealth (and talent, of course) with their little blue and yellow ribbons went to the causes that celebrities claim to support might actually save lives. But playing a short video about Ukraine and then switching to Gaga… well, is it better than nothing? Up for debate.

With Zelenskyy’s voice booming over the crowd, it was hard to forget Justin Bieber sitting over there in his silly oversized suit and pink Skater Kid cap. Not long before, Donatella Versace had just slid onto the stage to remove parts of Megan Thee Stallions and Dua Lipa’s skirts, and Jack Harlow had smacked his cock with a microphone in the middle of a Lil Nas X performance.

You just can’t go smoothly from a PSA about war crimes on the other side of a planet to a shrugging, “Well, the show must go on!” and shoving Lady Gaga onto the stage (possibly horny for Tony Bennett??) to keep things going. But they tried!

https://jezebel.com/so-uh-ukraines-president-zelenskyy-dropped-into-the-g-1848744306 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the Grammys

Andrew Schnitker

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