Ken Taylor, the former Canadian ambassador to Iran who protected a group of Americans who fled their embassy in 1979, thinks that Argo downplayed the role he and his countrymen played in the crisis. Taylor, who is played by Victor Garber (left) in Oscar-nominated film, told Toronto’s CP 24 that Argo “makes it seem like the Canadians were just along for the ride. The Canadians were brave. Period.” In Taylor’s opinion, Ben Affleck hogged all the glory for his own character, CIA agent Tony Mendez, who apparently was in Iran for less than two days. He added that Jimmy Carter, who oversaw the Iranian hostage crisis, agrees with him: “I think Jimmy Carter has it about right, it was about 90 per cent Canada, 10 per cent the CIA,” Taylor said in reference to comments the former president made to CNN earlier this week.
Affleck responded in a statement saying, “I admire Ken very much for his role in rescuing the six houseguests. I consider him a hero. In light of my many conversations as well as a change to an end card that Ken requested I am surprised that Ken continues to take issue with the film.” He added that Taylor had recently asked him to narrate a documentary, and that the ex-ambassador had not expressed “any lingering concerns” about Argo’s portrayal of the Canadian people. Of course, what Affleck probably meant to say was that Canada should just be grateful to be featured next to the United States at all. It’s a sad reality that Taylor understands all too well. While he told CP 24 that he hopes that Affleck will pay tribute to Canada during his Oscar acceptance speech (assuming he gets to give one), he’s not holding his breath: “Given the events of the last while I’m not necessarily anticipating anything.”