Oscars live broadcast cancelled in Russia as Jared Leto spoke of Ukraine

Channel One blamed the decision on the large number of news reports surrounding the situation in Crimea and the Ukraine

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The Independent Culture

Russia’s state-run television station cancelled its live broadcast of the Oscars ceremony, during which actor Jared Leto made reference to those affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

Channel One had been due to begin broadcasting the five-hour ceremony at 4am (MSK) on Monday morning, but announced it would broadcast a recorded version of the show on Tuesday morning instead.

A spokesperson for the channel said the decision was made to accommodate the increasing interest in the situation in Crimea.

A spokesman said: "Due to a large number of news reports on the situation around the autonomous republic of Crimea and Ukraine and due to the viewers" increased interest in news, Channel One considers the live broadcasting of the Oscar ceremony for five hours to be inappropriate, especially in the early morning hours, when the maximum amount of news broadcasting is done."

Dallas Buyers Club actor Leto dedicated part of his acceptance speech to the ongoing unrest in Ukraine when he was awarded the best supporting actor prize on Sunday evening.

"To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela," he said, "I want to say we are here and, as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we're thinking of you tonight."

Film critic Yury Gladilshchikov, who would have provided part of the Oscar"s commentary, said the broadcast would instead be replaced by "a gathering of politicians for the morning programming" in a Facebook post.