Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi Not Attending Oscars in Wake of Trump’s Muslim Ban

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A day after it was reported that Iranian director Asghar Farhadi would likely be unable to attend this year’s upcoming Oscars ceremony due to President Donald Trump’s newly enacted Muslim visa ban, Farhadi has released an official statement on the matter, confirming he won’t attend the ceremony even if granted an exception. Trump’s executive order, which bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries as well as all refugees from entering the U.S., went into effect this weekend. In his statement, Farhadi who’s nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for directing and writing The Salesman acknowledges that he never had the intention of skipping or boycotting the event, but he ultimately changed his mind. “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,” he explained. “Hard-liners, despite their nationalities, political arguments and wars, regard and understand the world in very much the same way. In order to understand the world, they have no choice but to regard it via an ‘us and them’ mentality, which they use to create a fearful image of ‘them’ and inflict fear in the people of their own countries.”

The filmmaker also expressed his “condemnation” over the “unjust conditions” the ban forces upon the affected countries, saying “to humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity.” (You can read his full statement in the New York Times here.)

In 2012, Farhadi won the Best Foreign Language Film honor for his film A Separation, which served as the first time an Iranian film won the category. , one of Farhadi’s stars in

Director Asghar Farhadi Won’t Go to Oscars