Trump Ban Will Block Oscar-Nominated Iranian Director From Attending Ceremony
Need a reminder that federal actions affect real-life people? Here's a story for you.On Friday, President Donald Trump enacted a four-month freeze stopping all refugees from entering the United States. In addition, Trump has blocked immigrants (just non-Christians, actually) from Syria, Iraq, and five other Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the U.S….even if they have a visa or Green Card.
"Imagine being put back on a 12-hour flight and the trauma and craziness of this whole thing," Mana Yegani, an immigration lawyer in Houston, told Reuters. "These are people that are coming in legally. They have jobs here and they have vehicles here."
One casualty of this political mess is Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi.
Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, tweeted Saturday morning:
According to Variety, Farhad's film The Salesman is nominated for a 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and whose film A Separation won the award in 2012.
In the days following November's presidential election, Farhadi sat down with Vox to discuss - among other things - the rise of Islamophobia and Nationalism in the United States.
"I see human beings as transcending politics, as transcending everything," Farhadi began.
He then outlined his views on the immigration and politics.
Everything that falls under the shadow of humans and respects humanity is acceptable to me, including politics. Where problems begin to arise is when their positions become switched. For instance, ideology ascends, and humanity falls below ideology, or politics are on top and humanity takes a lower position. When the places are switched in this way, then human beings are categorized, divided. When we place humanity at the top of the pyramid, at the pinnacle, then black or white, Iranian or American, everybody resembles one another. They are all human. But if the places are switched, the first division that will occur will be, for instance, Muslim/non-Muslim. When politics dominates humanity, then it becomes Americans versus non-Americans, or immigrants.
Taraneh Alidoosti, who co-stars in The Salesman, took to Twitter to announce her protest of the Muslim ban.
Others have questioned whether the situation merits an official statement by the Film Academy.
Do you boycott an Oscars when a totalitarian regime bans its nominees from attending? This feels like an unpresidented situation— Seth (@SethAbramovitch) January 28, 2017
“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,” Jamal Abdi, policy director at the National Iranian American Council, told Buzzfeed. “Especially people who are producing films and are symbols of our shared humanity. We are now treating them as if they were terrorists. ...We don’t know where this type of discrimination ends. I think there is a lot of fear about what comes next.”
The Oscars award ceremony will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.