HBO drops pro-Russian actor Miloš Biković from White Lotus over backlash from Ukraine

Serbian actor Miloš Biković will not be part of The White Lotus season 3. HBO has announced the departure of Milos from the show after Ukraine’s Ministry criticised Biković’s casting after his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Following Ukraine ministry’s comment, HBO announced that they had decided to part away with the actor and will recast Bikovic’s role.

“We have decided to part ways with Miloš Biković and the role will be recast,” a studio spokesperson said on Friday.

The shooting for season 3 was set to start in Thailand this month. 

HBO took action days after Ukraine Ministry slammed the studio for casting Milos, who supports ‘genocide’. Soon after his casting was announced, the ministry shared their disappointment and posted a clip of Bikovic being awarded by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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


Meanwhile, Biković in a statement said he was a victim of a “targeted campaign” and is leaving because of external pressure. 

“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,” Bikovic said to the The New York Times.

“The result of such a narrative is the triumph of absurdity and the defeat of art,” he added.

”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,” Biković further said. 

Biković was given a Russian citizenship in 2021 by president Vladimir Putin. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the actor shared a post reading, “War and bloodshed on any side reminds us of how far humanity is from global unity and love.”

““God save the lives of all those who are now in danger!,” he added.

The actor was awarded the Pushkin Medal by President Vladimir Putin in 2018. Following this, he was banned from entering Ukraine. 

Bikovic’s acting credit includes South Wind, Sunstroke, Ice, and The Balkan Line among others. 

More about White Lotus Season 3

Biković was part of the season 3 cast that includes series regular Natasha Rothwell, who will reprise her role of Belinda from season 1. The other star who will appear on the show are – Leslie Bibb, Dom Hetrakul, Jason Isaacs, Parker Posey, Michelle Monaghan, Tayme Thapthimthong, Carrie Coon, Christian Friedel, Morgana O’Reilly, Lek Patravadi, Shalini Peiris, Walton Goggins, Sarah Catherine Hook, Sam Nivola, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Aimee Lou Wood.

Season 3 is set to begin production in Thailand this month with the release sceduled for 2025. 


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