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Critics Choice Awards: Maria Bakalova, Michael Keaton and More Show Support for Ukraine Amid War With Russia

Hannah Waddingham and Billy Crystal also showed their support for the people in Ukraine at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards.

Presenter Maria Bakalova addressed the ongoing war in Ukraine during the 2022 Critics Choice Awards on Sunday.

She showed her support for the people of Ukraine while taking the stage to announce the best supporting actor category.

Bakalova — who won best supporting actress at the Critics Choice Awards in 2021 for her role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm — began her speech by sharing that Ukraine is “just a few hundred miles away” from her home city in Bulgaria.

“As we gather together on this special night, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the bravery of the people of Ukraine,” she said. Bakalova paused as the crowd cheered before continuing, “who are defending their right to independence and democracy.”

She continued: “I truly hope that we will come together and usher in a new era of cultural and artistic exchange between Western Europe and Hollywood, which has been a foundational force of creativity in the 20th century.”

Bakalova added she hopes the Ukrainian people know that “we see you, we stand with you and our hearts are with you.”

Later in the night, Hannah Waddingham emotionally spoke about the war while accepting the best comedy series award for Ted Lasso.

The actress became emotional as she spoke about the men, women and children of Ukraine that are “being utterly decimated at the moment from this putrid, putrid torrent of abuse.”

“Please think of them as much as you can and give as much as you can,” Waddingham added. “May this stop.”

Another person to touch on the topic was Billy Crystal, who accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award. Crystal spoke about his Russian and Ukrainian heritage, as well as the laughter of his family elders, during his acceptance speech.

“I thank you for this, but I dedicate this award to those amazing people in our living room back in Long Beach, Long Island, whose laughter and joy started this 5-year-old boy on his way to this moment,” he said. “And as we all have thought about and spoken about tonight, I pray that somehow, someway, there can be laughter and joy in that part of the world once again.”

Meanwhile, best actor in a limited series winner Michael Keaton wrapped up his acceptance speech by telling Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky to “keep up the fight.”

“There’s only one way to change things environmentally, socially and for some sort of racial justice and social justice,” he added. “Two words: Voting rights.”

Before the final award was presented, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay was joined by his fiance, Veronika Khomym, to show their support for the people of Ukraine.

Ukraine native Khomym said, “I proudly stand with my fellow Ukranians and I admire their strength. They have faced unimaginable adversity with such profound grace and bravery. Their fight and the way they have united the world is truly inspiring.

“There is no place in our world for this kind of violence and our prayers go out to all the lives that have been lost,” she concluded.

The 2022 Critics Choice Awards were hosted by Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer, airing on TBS and The CW. The Los Angeles portion of the awards ceremony was held at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel, while other stars gathered at the Savoy Hotel in London.

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