While presenting at the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday night, “Borat Subsequent Movie Film” star Maria Bakalova took a moment before reading the nominees to honor those in Ukraine.
Bakalova, who played Tutar Sagdiyev in the film, is from Burgas, Bulgaria, which she noted is “just a few hundred miles away from Ukraine.” So, prior to getting into the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, she took a moment to send a message to those still in the country.
“As we gather together on this special night, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the bravery of the people of Ukraine who are defending their right to independence and democracy,” Bakalova said. “I truly hope that we will come together and usher in a new era of cultural and artistic exchange between Eastern Europe and Hollywood, which has been a foundational force of creativity in the 20th century.”
Then, Bakalova spoke to Ukranians directly.
“So, I hope my message goes to the Ukranian people: we see you, we stand with you, and our hearts are with you.”
Bakalova’s remarks were expected, as she previously made it clear that she would make a brief tribute to the country on stage.
“As artists we should use our platform to speak about global situations,” Bakalova recently told THR. “I’m Eastern European, so I feel this very deeply. It’s important to share our support and our admiration of the bravery of the Ukrainian people.”
Later in the evening, the cast of “Ted Lasso” also spoke out on the war in Ukraine, with series star Hannah Waddingham taking the lead during their acceptance for the Best Comedy Series award.
“It would be remiss of us to not throw the focus to the most important thing that’s happening in the world at the moment,” Waddingham said. “Our beautiful brothers and sisters, and for me, more importantly, the babies in the Ukraine that are being utterly decimated at the moment, from this putrid, putrid torrent of abuse. Please think of them as much as you can, and give as much as you can. We are so grateful for this [award], but may this stop. May this stop, please.”