Sat, Jan 28, 2017

This Iranian Director Won't Be Able To Attend The Oscars Because Of Trump's Ban

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The Iranian’s film The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, but its director cannot enter the US.

Following President Donald Trump’s executive order on Friday temporarily barring refugees and people from seven Muslim nations from entering the US, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi will not be able to attend the Oscars.

Following President Donald Trump's executive order on Friday temporarily barring refugees and people from seven Muslim nations from entering the US, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi will not be able to attend the Oscars.

Ian Gavan / Getty Images

In addition to indefinitely ending the resettlement of refugees fleeing severe violence in Syria, the order Trump signed halts visas to seven countries, including Iran, for 90 days.

Farhadi’s film The Salesman, which he wrote and directed, is nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. In 2012, Farhadi’s film A Separation won the Oscar in that same category.

But because Iran is included in Trump’s ban, the renowned artist and former Oscar winner won’t be able to attend the Academy Awards on Feb. 26, according to National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi.

Jamal Abdi, policy director at the National Iranian American Council, told BuzzFeed News there were no exceptions for artists in Trump’s executive order. He called Farhadi’s inability to attend the ceremony “barbaric.”

“It’s so profoundly sad that even as we may have problems with Iran’s government and other governments, we are now cracking down on people,” he said. “Especially people who are producing films and are symbols of our shared humanity. We are now treating them as if they were terrorists.”

Before the order was signed, Taraneh Alidoosti, a famous Iranian actor and the star of The Salesman, said that she would be boycotting the Oscars either way. “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist,” she wrote on Twitter.

Abdi said Farhadi’s absence at the Academy Awards will be deeply felt among Iranian-Americans. “When we see Iranian artists being targeted, it feels like they are targeting us,” he said. “This is where our cultures overlap.”

“We don’t know where this type of discrimination ends. I think there is a lot of fear about what comes next,” he added.


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