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The series “The White Lotus” separates from actor Milos Bikovic, accused of supporting the Russian invasion

HBO announced in mid-January that Serbian comedian Milos Bikovic, who has appeared in several Russian films, would join the cast of the next season.

France Télévisions – Culture Editorial

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Serbian actor and jury member Milos Bikovic on the red carpet of the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival, Russia, April 22, 2021. (SEFA KARACAN / ANADOLU AGENCY / AFP)

The American television channel HBO announced that it had canceled the presence of a Serbian actor in its hit series The White Lotus after Ukraine accused Milos Bikovic of supporting the war started by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine said at the end of January that Milos Bikovic supported Russia.since the beginning of the invasion. “HBO, do you mind working with someone who supports genocide and violates international law ?”protested the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We have decided to part ways with Milos Bikovic and his role will be redistributed,” declared an HBO spokesperson in a laconic message sent to AFP on Saturday February 3, without giving further details.

“A targeted campaign”

The Serbian actor, scheduled to be cast in the next season 3, denied supporting the war in Ukraine, denouncing “a targeted campaign” against him who threatens “the essence of artistic freedom. “I grew up in a war-torn country”he confided in a press release published on (former Twitter), in reference to the conflict in former Yugoslavia.

“I could never wish such devastation on anyone. There are more and more active conflicts around the world. Each one is different. All heartbreaking”he added, saying he hoped “let them all stop”. The 36-year-old actor obtained Russian citizenship on February 24, 2021, a year before the invasion of Ukraine began. He was decorated by President Vladimir Putin in 2018 for contribution to the country's culture.

HBO announced in mid-January that Milos Bikovic, who has appeared in several Russian films, would join the cast of the next season, production of which is due to begin in February in Thailand, according to American media. The White Lotus, a scathing satire on the hypocrisy of the rich, achieved great popular and critical success. She was notably rewarded in January with the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Jennifer Coolidge.

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