‘The White Lotus’ Season 3 Drops Miloš Biković After Ukraine Invasion Comments Surface

HBO intends to recast the character ahead of filming for the Mike White-created series

Serbian actor Milos Bikovic attends promotion of the animated series "Puffins" in Belgrade on October 19, 2021. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

“The White Lotus” Season 3 has dropped cast member Miloš Biković after the actor’s controversial comments surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resurfaced.

 “We have decided to part ways with Miloš Biković and the role will be recast,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap.

The HBO anthology series faces a tight turnaround to recast the role, as production is slated to begin this month in Thailand, with filming for the third installment bringing its cast and crew to Koh Samui, Phuket and Bangkok.

HBO’s decision to recast Biković’s role comes just a week after Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called upon the network to cut Biković, writing on social media, “@HBO, is it all right for you to work with a person who supports genocide & violates international law?”

In the post on X, formerly Twitter, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attached a video accusing the Serbian actor of supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as seen through his apparent backing of the Russia’s occupation of Crimea, through both translated statements and his participation in filming TV shows in Russian-occupied Crimea.

“The people of Crimea joined Russia themselves through a referendum,” Biković states in a translation in the video. “Russia is moving on its path and the world sees it as a hostile process.”

The video further accuses Biković of being “Kremlin’s foreign mouthpiece,” and points to the actor’s ongoing allegiance with Russia and Vladimir Putin, whose 2021 decree granted the Serbian national Russian citizenship, and followed up on giving Bikovic a medal for cultural achievement in 2018.

In response to the news, Biković stated that a “targeted campaign” was “unleashed against [him],” saying the events are “seemingly as an external maneuver to influence decisions that can create a disturbing precedent shadowing the essence of artistic freedom.”

“I was honored to be chosen to be a part of ‘White Lotus,’ a TV series that I hold in high regard and with colleagues whom I deeply respect,” he wrote in a statement on social media. “However, my participation is not possible due to reasons beyond the realm of art and I will not bow to any narrative that seeks to compromise my integrity.”


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