Following HBO‘s decision “to part ways” with Miloš Biković — who was recently added to the cast for The White Lotus Season 3 — the Serbian actor has released a statement, saying that he’d never “bow to any narrative that seeks to compromise (his) integrity.” This comes after Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called out HBO over the recent casting announcement.
On X (formerly Twitter), Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Biković “has been supporting Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion.” They then asked the company if it’s “all right for (them) to work with a person who supports genocide (and) violates international law.”
An HBO spokesperson has since stated that the role that Biković is supposed to portray will be recast. Though the streamer had not revealed any character details yet, Biković — according to Deadline — was expected to play Valentin.
Immediately after the company ultimately decided to drop Biković from The White Lotus cast, the actor claimed that the “targeted campaign” against him is possibly a move intended to create “disturbing precedent” that seeks to overshadow “the essence of artistic freedom.” He then concluded his statement by saying his “beliefs” and “dedication” to art won’t change.
You can read the actor’s full statement down below:
“I grew up in a war-torn country. 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. There are more and more active conflicts in the entire world. Each one is different. Each one is heartbreaking. I wish all of them to stop and principles of love to prevail.
“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. The result of such a narrative is the triumph of absurdity and the defeat of art.
“I was honored to be chosen to be a part of White Lotus, a TV series that I hold in high regard and with colleagues whom I deeply respect. However, my participation is not possible due to reasons beyond the realm of art and I will not bow to any narrative that seeks to compromise my integrity.
“I would like to thank everyone who stood by me. I wish my colleagues great success in creating the next season. Regardless of everything, I strongly believe that art can heal. I believe it can help humanity unite. My beliefs and my dedication to art will remain unchanged.”
Who else was added to The White Lotus Season 3 cast?
Other stars confirmed to appear in the third season of the HBO series include Christian Friedel, Morgana O’Reilly, Shalini Peiris, and Lek Patravadi. Earlier this year, Leslie Bibb, Michelle Monaghan, Parker Posey, and Jason Isaacs were also reported to have joined the acclaimed series for its upcoming third season.
HBO has not yet announced who will replace Biković.