Donald Trump’s attempted travel ban struck a chord with many in Hollywood who are planning to attend this Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, and with one director who isn‘t. Asghar Farhadi, director of the 2012 Oscar-winning A Separation and this year’s Oscar-nominated The Salesman, is boycotting the awards show, but he’s sending two prominent Iranian-Americans in his stead.
Variety reports that engineer Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian and first Muslim woman in space, and Firouz Naderi, former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, will be at the ceremony to accept Farhadi’s award on his behalf if he wins. Farhadi announced a few weeks ago that even if an exception was made for him to enter the U.S. after Trump’s travel ban, he would not be attending the ceremony in protest. The producer and stars of the film will also not be there, and if he wins, Farhadi will not be doing any interviews.
Farhadi is also one of the signatories of a joint statement put out on Friday from all five of the Oscar-nominated foreign language film directors — Martin Zandvliet (Land of Mine, Denmark), Hannes Holm (A Man called Ove, Sweden), Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann, Germany), Martin Butler, Bentley Dean (Tanna, Australia) — decrying “the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.”
Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist–for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists, and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity–values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.
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