Reacting to reports that Iranian director Asghar Farhadi could be prevented from attending the 89th Academy Awards where his film The Salesman is nominated as best foreign language film, the Motion Picture Academy today said that the situation is “extremely troubling.”
An Academy spokesperson released the following statement, “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. 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 Salesman, which concerns a couple, both actors, whose relationship is in trouble, earned Shahab Hosseini best actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival, where Farhadi also won the best screenplay prize.
Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in The Salesman, recently stated via social media that she would not be attending the Oscars in protest of Trump. She tweeted on Thursday, “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.”