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Ukraine Calls Out ‘The White Lotus’ for Casting Miloš Biković, Says the Actor Is the ‘Kremlin’s Foreign Mouthpiece’

Ukraine is calling out HBO’s “The White Lotus” for casting Serbian actor Miloš Biković in Season 3, claiming that he is the “Kremlin’s foreign mouthpiece.”

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to X/Twitter, on Wednesday to express its disappointment over the casting.

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“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,” the post reads. “@HBO, is it all right for you to work with a person who supports genocide & violates international law?”

The post is accompanied by a video accusing Biković of supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The clip shows the actor receiving a medal of honor from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 for his contribution to Russian arts and culture. Biković has held Russian citizenship since 2021 and referred to himself as an “active member of Russian society” in an Instagram post that same year, often attending panel discussions hosted by the government. He has also collaborated with those in the Russian entertainment industry who have supported the invasion, including director Nikita Mikhalkov with 2014’s “Sunstroke.” In 2019, he told the Russian publication Telegraf that he had been banned from entering Ukraine.

“If this is the dark side of the comedy, then HBO just did it really well,” the video says. “Dear HBO, do you really support genocide?”

Representatives for HBO and Biković did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment. In an article posted by Serbian news agency Tanjug on Thursday, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs defended Biković.

“We underline that the claims by the Ukrainian side are unfounded as Milos Bikovic is, above all, one of the most popular and the most talented Serbian actors of his generation who, despite his young age, has already left a mark in Serbian as well as international cinema,” the statement reads “We want to remind that, on Serbian Diplomacy Day in 2019, FM Ivica Dacic awarded to Bikovic a charter for his exceptional personal contribution to worldwide promotion of Serbia and its rich cultural creativity.”

Biković’s casting in “The White Lotus” Season 3 was announced on Jan. 12 alongside “The Zone of Interest” star Christian Friedel, Morgana O’Reilly (“Mean Mums,” “Housebound”), Lek Patravadi (“In Family We Trust,” “Nang Nuan”) and Shalini Peiris (“The Ark,” “The Danny & Mick Show”). Season 3 will take place in Thailand and follow a new crop of hotel guests.

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