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Ukraine criticises HBO for casting pro-Russia actor in season 3 of The White Lotus

Emmy-winning series recently announced Serbian-Russian actor Miloš Biković would be joining the season three cast

Inga Parkel
Thursday 25 January 2024 15:40 GMT
Season 3 of 'The White Lotus' to reportedly take place in Thailand

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has called out HBO’s The White Lotus for casting Serbian-Russian actor Miloš Biković, who is said to have supported Russia since its full-scale invasion.

Earlier this month, the Emmy-winning drama announced that 36-year-old Biković, along with several other international stars, would be joining its forthcoming season three.

On Wednesday (24 January), Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the news, tweeting: “Miloš Biković, Serbian actor who has been supporting Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion, is now set to star in HBO's The White Lotus Season 3.

“@HBO, is it all right for you to work with a person who supports genocide & violates international law?” it added, along with a video edit accusing Biković of being “the Kremlin’s foreign mouthpiece”.

The Independent has contacted HBO for comment.

In 2018, Vladimir Putin awarded Biković with a medal of honour for his contribution to Russian arts and culture. The actor and producer later revealed in 2019 that he had been banned from Ukraine for national security reasons.

He was then granted Russian citizenship in 2021. In an Instagram post shared that same year, Biković referred to himself as an “active member of Russian society”. “It is a great honour to say today: Russia is my homeland,” he said.

Biković has acted in several Russian productions, including the 2017 TV drama Krylya Imperii.

He will be joined by German actor Christian Friedel (Zone of Interest), New Zealand actor Morgana O’Reilly (Neighbours), Sri Lankan actor Shalini Peiris (The Arc) and Thai actor Patravadi Mejudhon, all of whom will also be making their White Lotus debut next season.

Season three of Mike White’s hit series will be set in Thailand, with production scheduled to begin in February in and around Koh Samui, Phuket, and Bangkok.

“We are honoured to have Amazing Thailand featured as the filming location for the highly anticipated upcoming season of The White Lotus,” Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said in a statement.

“Thailand has long been considered one of the world’s favorite filming locations. The White Lotus project will certainly strengthen the kingdom’s status as a preferred filming destination and a beacon of experience-based tourism, inspiring even more visitors to Amazing Thailand.”

White has previously teased a “supersized” season three. “It’s going to be longer, bigger, crazier. I don’t know what people will think, but I am super excited, so at least for my own barometer, that’s a good thing... I’m super excited about the content of the season,” he told Entertainment Weekly in November.

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