HBO is recasting a 'White Lotus' role after Ukraine accused the actor of supporting Russia

  • HBO said Friday it would be recasting a "White Lotus" role held by Serbian actor Miloš Biković.

  • The Ukrainian government accused Biković of supporting Russia's war in Ukraine.

  • In a statement, Biković pushed back, saying he could "never wish such devastation on anyone."

HBO announced Friday that it would be parting ways with a Serbian actor it hired to star in season three of its Emmy-nominated show "White Lotus."

"We have decided to part ways with Miloš Biković and the role will be recast," an HBO spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement.

The show was set to begin filming in February.

The statement did not clarify why Biković, who was cast to play a wellness guru on the show, would no longer appear, but the actor was recently accused by the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs in late January of supporting Russia's war in Ukraine.

"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 foreign ministry wrote on X on January 24. "@HBO, is it all right for you to work with a person who supports genocide & violates international law?"

The Ukrainian MFA's posts received about 5,000 likes across Instagram and X. Some commenters expressed unhappiness with Biković's casting, while others questioned why the government was focused on the actor.

Biković had not made public statements in support of the war and had expressed sadness about 'war and bloodshed' on Instagram when Russia began its war in Ukraine.

However, some commenters in support of Ukraine were unhappy that the actor did not outright condemn Russia.

In a statement to Business Insider, Biković said that he was grateful for his initial casting on the show but criticized the decision to have him removed.

"Today, a targeted campaign has been unleashed against me, seemingly as an external maneuver to influence decisions that can create a disturbing precedent shadowing the essence of artistic freedom," Biković said. "The result of such a narrative is the triumph of absurdity and the defeat of art."

The Serbian actor also spoke about growing up in a war.

"I grew up in a war-torn country," Biković wrote. "At the age of 11 I endured days and nights in shelters while my homeland and my hometown were bombed. And could never wish such devastation on anyone."

Read the original article on Business Insider