Actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller have been officially and permanently banned from entering Russia, as are 23 other “members of the US Congress, high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures.”
Russia’s foreign ministry made the announcement Monday in response to what it calls “the ever-expanding personal sanctions by the G. Biden Administration against Russian citizens.”
“The hostile actions of the American authorities, which continue to follow a Russophobic course, destroying bilateral ties and escalating confrontation between Russia and the United States, will continue to be resolutely rebuffed,” a statement reads. Though maybe it has more to do with the fact that Russia is invading Ukraine at the moment and not America’s “Russophobic course” that is “destroying bilateral ties” between the two countries. Just a thought.
EW reached out to representatives for Penn and Stiller for comment, but we imagine they’re not losing sleep over it.
Ben Stiller, Sean Penn
Amanda Edwards/WireImage; Cindy Ord/Getty Images Ben Stiller and Sean Penn are among 25 individuals who’ve been permanently banned from entering Russia.
Penn had traveled to Ukraine to make a documentary for Vice as Russia was planning its invasion of the sovereign nation.
In February, he issued the following statement: “Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.”
More recently in April, Penn called on world leaders to “#ArmUkraineNow.”
“Let’s unite to stop the war in Ukraine,” he tweeted. “Let’s defend freedom and save lives.”
Stiller, meanwhile, traveled to Ukraine as part of the UN Refugee Agency to meet people “who have been impacted by the war” and hear “how it’s changed their lives,” he said as part of a video message posted by the UN Refugee Agency in June.
“War and violence are devastating people all over the world,” he continued. “Nobody chooses to flee their home. Seeking safety is a right, and it needs to be upheld for every person.”