“This is our reality,” mentioned a grim-faced Zelensky, who wore a inexperienced T-shirt and fatigues whereas sitting in entrance of a tactical map

Sean Penn. Pic/AFP

Addressing a crowd on the fundraising gala for Hollywood star Sean Penn’s humanitarian aid organisation CORE, Ukrainian President Volodymyr urged the rich and highly effective attendees to seek out methods to help his war-torn nation.

His five-minute pre-recorded plea on the Hollywood Palladium occasion on Saturday was inter-cut with scenes of the detritus of conflict massive and small, from buildings being blown as much as a close-up of a battered and bloodied stuffed animal left behind on a street by a fleeing household, experiences ‘Variety’.

“This is our reality,” mentioned a grim-faced Zelensky, who wore a inexperienced T-shirt and fatigues whereas sitting in entrance of a tactical map.

The former actor, who grew to become Ukraine’s President in 2019, addressed the attendees as a fellow skilled.

“It’s not VFX, it’s not computer graphics. All of this is our reality,” he mentioned.

Ukrainians have been resisting Russian advances for 107 days and counting, Zelensky mentioned, whereas citing the symbolic gesture that Hollywood made throughout World War II in making Oscar statuettes out of plaster when all accessible steel was wanted for the conflict effort.

“Any help is valuable and important” for combatting “this evil which is called Russian full-scale aggression”, the President mentioned.

“Fight for Ukraine because Ukraine is fighting for the whole world.”

Earlier within the night, Ukraine’s trigger was additionally championed by Dakh Daughters, an avant-garde trio of feminine musicians, who carried out a number of numbers (underneath white pancake make-up) and closed by unfurling a big Ukrainian flag emblazoned with “Arm Ukraine”.

Penn’s Community Organized Relief Effort was born out of the actor’s want to convey assist to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake that devastated the island.

Penn recalled how former President Bill Clinton and CAA’s Bryan Lourd “saved our a***s” when the fledgling organisation wanted assistance on the bottom in Haiti.

A dozen years later, surveying the scope of the group and its work, Penn mirrored: “I walk into this building tonight and I think, ‘How the hell did this happen?'”

Clinton was available to current one of many evening’s honors to investor Frank Giustra. John Legend got here out for a solo piano rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti additionally took the stage to pay tribute to CORE for its assist in working the nation’s largest Covid testing and vaccination websites.

Host Aida Rodriguez received the group’s consideration from the beginning, ribbing them about being “woke” and warning that “my comedy is confrontational”.

The lengthy evening additionally included an public sale part.

Auctioneer Letitia Frye, a well-recognized fast-talking voice from the Hollywood charity circuit, was available to assist convey within the bucks.

She offered off unique artworks in addition to the prospect to have Legend carry out a solo live performance within the profitable bidder’s lounge, a one-of-a-kind providing that went for $1 million, experiences ‘Variety’.

Frye at one level received a bit of assist from attendee Sharon Stone, who lower fairly a determine in a vibrant pink go well with.

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