Scandal hit MTV Russia's movie awards ceremony Thursday when a presenter refused to announce the viewer-voted award for best movie after realizing which film had won.
Vladimir Menshov, one of Russia's leading directors, was onstage at Moscow's Pushkin Theater when he opened the envelope with details of the winning film -- the World War II drama "Svolochi," in which a group of teenage criminals is sent on a suicide mission behind German lines.
Menshov gasped as he read the contents of the envelope, looked up and said: "I'm not going to hand over an award to a film that discredits my country, let Pamela Anderson (another of the evening's presenters) do it instead."
He then turned, dropped the envelope and stalked offstage, refusing to comment further.
J.E. sums it up perfectly:
It's something absolutely unthinkable in this country. Can you possibly imagine someone at the MTV Awards here refusing to give the best pic award to a film that portrayed the U.S. as criminally unethical on grounds that it made our country look bad? Impossible. And yet, it happens in Russia, a country with far fewer reasons to be proud.