Iranian Film Director Skipping Oscars Over Trump Immigration Ban

Katie Jerkovich | Contributor

Asghar Farhadi said he has decided not to attend the Oscars because of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

The Iranian director’s film “The Salesman” has been nominated for an Oscar in the foreign-language film category. (RELATED: Donald Trump Defends His Executive Order: ‘This Is Not A Muslim Ban’)

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 22: Scriptwriter Asghar Farhadi, winner of the award for Best Script for the movie « The Salesman » , attends the Palme D'Or Winner Press Conference during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 22, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

“I regret to announce via this statement that I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards Ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community,” Farhadi said in a statement Sunday, according to the New York Times. “Over the course of the past few days and despite the unjust circumstances which have risen for the immigrants and travelers of several countries to the United States, my decision had remained the same: to attend this ceremony and to express my opinions about these circumstances in the press surrounding the event.”

“I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection, for I know that many in the American film industry and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are opposed to the fanaticism and extremism which are today taking place more than ever,” he added. “However, it now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip.”

“For years on both sides of the ocean, groups of hardliners have tried to present to their people unrealistic and fearful images of various nations and cultures in order to turn their differences into disagreements, their disagreements into enmities and their enmities into fears,” he continued. “Instilling fear in the people is an important tool used to justify extremist and fanatic behavior by narrow-minded individuals. To humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity.”

“I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations.”

“The Salesman” — $14.99

Katie Jerkovich

Contributor

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