Russia’s state-run television station station is denying it aired a censored version of the Academy Awards ceremony that omitted Jared Leto’s mention of Ukraine in his acceptance speech.
"The channel aired a 90-minute international version of the Oscar ceremony, which was not to be cut and was provided by the rights holder,” a spokesperson for Channel One told The Hollywood Reporter.
Channel One was criticized after it canceled planned live coverage of the Oscars ceremony, opting instead to air a recorded version later. Large segments of the ceremony were omitted from the trimmed down recorded version, including Jared Leto’s award acceptance speech in which he made reference to the turmoil in Ukraine.
"To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, 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,” he said.
The Russian station acknowledges Leto’s speech was not in its Oscars broadcast but denies the station was responsible for the censoring.