News   /   Culture

Iran's Oscar-winning director boycotts Academy Awards over US Muslim ban

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo taken on May 22, 2016 shows Iranian director Asghar Farhadi celebrating on stage after being awarded with the Best Screenplay prize for the film The Salesman during the closing ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by AFP)

Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi says he has decided not to participate in the Oscars ceremony next month in protest at the US President Donald Trump's executive order to restrict entry into the country from the Islamic Republic and six other Muslim states.

Farhadi, whose film The Salesman is nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language movie, said in a statement published by The New York Times on Sunday that he would boycott the ceremony even if he were granted an exception to US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision.

He added that he had planned to attend the ceremony in Los Angeles on February 26 and while there bring attention to a decision he called “unjust.”

“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,” he said.

The prominent director added, “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 noted that the US president’s executive order had given rise to “ifs and buts," which were in no way acceptable to him even if exceptions were to be made for his trip.

“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,” Farhadi said.

Read the full text of Farhadi's message here

Trump’s executive order, issued on January 27, blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Farhadi's decision came after Iranian actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in The Salesman, said on Thursday that she had made up her mind to boycott this year's Academy Awards ceremony in a show of protest against the US president’s decision to impose visa bans on Iranians.

Read more

Alidoosti took to Twitter and Instagram to slam Trump’s planned visa bans, which she described as “racist” and “unacceptable.”

“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians and others is a racist move and unacceptable,” Alidoosti tweeted, adding, “Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest.”

Farhadi's The Salesman took home two awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival last May.

The Salesman was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Award among several other nationwide and universal recognitions.

Back in 2012, Farhadi won Iran its first-ever Academy Award with domestic drama A Separation.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku