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Academy stands by Asghar Farhadi amid Trump's 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)
Director Asghar Farhadi attends the Golden Globe Foreign Language Film Symposium presented by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association & The American Cinematheque, in Hollywood, California, on January 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it is “extremely troubling” that Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi may not attend the 89th Academy Awards following President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.

"The Academy celebrates achievement in the art of filmmaking, which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences,” an Academy spokesperson said in a statement.

“As supporters of filmmakers — and the human rights of all people — around the globe, we find it extremely troubling that Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning film from Iran, ‘A Separation,’ along with the cast and crew of this year's Oscar-nominated film ‘The Salesman,’ could be barred from entering the country because of their religion or country of origin," the statement added.

The Academy is known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, also known as the "Oscars."

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 Trump’s controversial decision.

Farhadi said he had planned toattend the Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles, California, on February 26and bring attention to the “unjust” ban.

Read the full text of Farhadi's message here:

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

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 recognition.

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

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