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Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi

Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi, who wrote and directed the 2017 Oscar-nominated foreign language film “The Salesman,” would likely be barred from attending the 89th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, California on February 26, because of President Donald Trump’s Friday’s executive order banning the entry of Iranians, who are included in the group of seven ostracized majority-Muslim countries.

An Academy spokesperson issued a statement on Saturday in response to media reports on Farhadi’s ban, saying, “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.”

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Taraneh Alidoosti, the star of Farhadi’s new film, tweeted on Thursday morning that she “won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest.”

 


Several media outlets have pointed out that a ban on Farhadi’s work is particularly ironic, because it is an homage to the American Theater. “The Salesman” tells the story of a young couple who are amateur actors appearing in a production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of A Salesman.” In several key scenes, the characters are shown performing the 1949 play.

Back in 2013, Emad Burnat, an Academy Award-nominee from the Palestinian Authority, was detained by Homeland security with his family at LAX, but was released after questioning.

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