You can add the Independent Spirit Awards to the list of Vladimir Putin’s enemies.
The awards show wasted little time before weighing in on the war in Ukraine, with hosts Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally addressing the conflict when the show returned from its first commercial break.
“Before we keep going, we’d like to take a minute to extend our best wishes to those affected by the war in Ukraine, and all unjust conflict around the world,” Offerman said, before turning things over to Mullally.
“I think we speak for everyone here when we say we are hoping for a quick and peaceful resolution,” she said. “Specifically, fuck off and go home, Putin.”
“Yes, that is the quick and peaceful resolution we’re talking about,” Offerman said. “That Vladimir Putin fucks off and goes home. And to that end, let’s all join together and send him off with a Spirit Awards salute: to Putin!”
The “Spirit Awards salute” in question was a massive middle finger to the Russian dictator, with both Offerman and Mullally flipping him off. They encouraged the entire crowd to join them, which led to an entire tent full of extended middle fingers (including Kristen Stewart, as highlighted in the telecast). They then proceeded to offer a more sincere gesture of support for Ukraine, calling on attendees and viewers to donate whatever they can to organizations assisting the Ukrainian people.
Like much of the world, Hollywood has been firmly on Ukraine’s side since Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of the nation. Award shows denouncing Putin and supporting Ukraine have been a recurring theme this Oscar season, with plenty of stars working yellow and blue into their red carpet outfits and extending their thoughts to Ukrainian people in their acceptance speeches. At the Screen Actors Guild awards, Brian Cox memorably denounced Putin but offered support to artists living in Russia as well, saying “I think we should all stand together. And also for those people in Russia who don’t like what’s going on, particularly the artists, I think we should really join in celebrating them and hoping they can actually make a shift, as I believe they can.”