Academy: It's 'Troubling' Oscar-Nominated Director May Be Banned From US
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi -- whose film "The Salesman" is nominated for an Academy Award -- may not be able to attend the awards ceremony in February in Los Angeles due to President Donald Trump's travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
"It is extremely troubling," a spokesperson for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement Saturday. "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."
The statement continues, "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."
Trump's move on Friday called for the immediate suspension of immigration from seven countries with alleged ties to terror, including Iran. The ban is for 90 days and the president has said it's part of a vetting plan to prevent “radical Islamic terrorists” from reaching American soil.
"The Salesman" stars Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti as a couple who gets cast in a local rendition of Arthur Miller's 1949 stage play "Death of a Salesman."
However, Alidoosti, 33, announced Friday that she would protest the Academy Awards because of the ban.
"Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist," she tweeted. "Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest."
Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not,I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest pic.twitter.com/CW3EF6mupo— Taraneh Alidoosti (@t_alidoosti) January 26, 2017
Farhadi previously received an Oscar award for his 2011 drama, "A Separation."
During his acceptance speech the following year, the director described Iran as a "rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics."
The director also described Iranians as "a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment."
Other Hollywood directors came out in support of Farhadi, including Oscar winner Michael Moore. He tweeted, "To our Muslim neighbors in the world: I & tens of millions of others are so very sorry. The majority of Americans did not vote 4 this man."
To our Muslim neighbors in the world: I & tens of millions of others are so very sorry. The majority of Americans did not vote 4 this man.— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 28, 2017
Ava DuVernay, whose documentary "13th" is nominated for an Academy Award this year, also tweeted her support. She wrote, "Amplifying words of one of my favorite filmmakers, Asghar Farhadi, who like too many others will be turned away from the Land of the Free."
Amplifying words of one of my favorite filmmakers, Asghar Farhadi, who like too many others will be turned away from the Land of the Free. pic.twitter.com/CcskcFueuo— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 28, 2017
ABC News has contacted Amazon Studios for comment.
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